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Definition/ Argument - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Beauty in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s only published novel, which appeared in June 1980 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine as its lead story. The novel revolves around Dorian Gray, a young man who is artist Basil Hallward’s subject in a painting…
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Download file to see previous pages Dorian, realizing that he will not always be beautiful, desires to sell his soul so that Basil’s painting would age instead of him. His wish happens, and when he turns to debauchery, the picture reminds him of how each act affects his soul with the form disfigured by every sin. The novel explores the concept of beauty and how it corrupts the soul as a critique on how beauty is overhauled in society. The novel exemplifies the manner in which beauty is corrupted through favoring beauty over morality, especially as Dorian transitions from a kindhearted young man to a malevolent man imitating beauty. The author illustrates that virtues are more valuable than beauty via display of corruption and innocence as painted over Dorian’s Adonis-like face. The idea that there is no visual consequence for Dorian’s actions is seductive as his soul is lost and he is content with his looks alone with moral decay epitomizing the corruption of the soul by beauty. In the novel, Basil and Lord Henry, act as Dorian’s foil. ...
This struggle pulls Dorian between them, and this leads him to murder Basil. This makes it evident that beauty corrupts him to kill a close friend. At first, Dorian is not bothered about his good looks, remarking, “I do not want a life-sized portrait of myself” (Wilde 17). However, Dorian becomes horrid as the sins he commits are reflected on the portrait with the “devils eyes”. Basil even describes Dorian as being “worse, even, than those who talk against [him] fancy [him] to be" (Wilde 161). This alteration in his actions indicates that he has surrendered to evil’s seduction and becomes numb to the brutal murder of Basil, describing the body as a “thing” (Wilde 163). The self-indulgent life Lord Wotton, as well as the loss of his soul, makes Dorian excuse Basil’s murder as simply madness of the moment. Concerning ALAN Campbell, the suicide was his own act that he had chosen to do and “it was nothing to him” (Wilde 227). This dead compassion and neglect for emotion shows that Dorian had become corrupted from his obsessive regard for beauty. Dorian’s battle with evil and good, in addition, is displayed in his last name, Gray, that shows his ambiguity of morals. One major cause for his struggle comes from his trumping of intellect for beauty. He fell in line with Lord Wotton’s theory on how intelligence causes people to be ugly and that it is not possible to be intellect and attractive. The society that Dorian becomes associated with is prevalent of the above process. While his feelings are not as straightforward as Lord Wotton’s, most people admire him and view him as intriguing, especially due to his beauty. This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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