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The Picture of Dorian Gray - Essay Example

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Name: University: Course: Tutor: Date: It is now almost a century and a half since Oscar Wilde published the book “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” with it contentious themes of duplicity, hedonistic and worship of beauty and youth. While the book’s decadence and homo-eroticism shocked his contemporaries at the time of its publication, the theme on the worship of beauty and youth remain very much alive in this time and age…
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The Picture of Dorian Gray
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"The Picture of Dorian Gray"

Download file to see previous pages There are so many parallels that can be drawn between Dorian’s character and today’s generation and particularly youths. For instance, just as today’s youth are generally innocent in the initial day of their life, their innocence eventually disappears mostly under the influence of today’s ‘role models’ who ironically worship vices instead of virtues. This is perfectly in line with Dorian’s character and especially the influence of Lord Henry Wotton, who influences Dorian in entering a “life of sensual indulgence (Wilde, 1908).” In fact, the path that he takes in his life is perfectly in line with today’s youths from similar background. Hailing from a dysfunctional family, where Dorian maternal grandmother conspires to have his father murdered because of his displeasure with the marriage, Dorian like majority of today’s youths from such dysfunctional family had no inspiration in life and hence his subsequent riotous nature in life. In fact, his story is a common feature in our ghettoes today where kids in care of their maternal parents are increasingly embracing violence and all sort of extreme vices. Put in the context of today’s life, the overall picture of Dorian life and especially that of murder in the most part, makes him a perfect example of a child growing without any emotional support not only in his generation but in any of the subsequent generations. There is no doubt that Dorian would behave exactly the way he behaved if he found himself living in the 21st century. Dorian picture represent that found in the ghettoes. The murder of Basil for instance, which can be blamed in most part on his emotional build-up can be likened to majority of today’s violence and senseless murders that are being perpetuated by youths of his age in poor neighborhood where the family institution is no longer existent. Dorian life of vices instead of virtue seems to be consistent with the desires of the youths of today, a desire that is particularly driven by the pop culture propagated by the entertainment industry. His life of extremes particularly makes the character Dorian appealing to today’s youth if today pop culture is anything to go by. This appeal is also manifested in Hollywood’s effort since the 1900s at integrating Dorian character and lessons in a good number of their films. Even the struggles that Dorian undergoes in asserting his character to his contemporaries are synonymous with today’s youth obsession with bad-boy image, a classic example being rapper Eminem, who has made a career out of bashing his mother. Another example of the elevation of Dorian character can be found in both the film and print version of the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Today extreme obsession with sensual beauty and youthfulness, which informs the growing list of beauty products and even cosmetic surgeries, borrows a lot from the book’s theme on the worship of beauty and youth. There is no doubt that just like Dorian’s obsession with beauty, the modern man and women will spend large amount of resources (time and money) on maintaining the perfect mirrored image of him/herself. This feeling about reality of the 21st century man and woman is consistent with Dorian’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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