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: The Picture of Dorian Gray and Dr, Jekyll and Mr, Hyde & the Evaluation Claim - Essay Example

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Name Subject Instructor Date The Picture of Dorian Gray and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: the Evaluation Claim The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are two novels that have much in common. Both novels are set in Victorian England and written during this period…
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Essay: The Picture of Dorian Gray and Dr, Jekyll and Mr, Hyde & the Evaluation Claim
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Download file to see previous pages Dorian himself is beautiful, and his portrait, because it alone showed the physical effects of debauchery, is hideous. The dual image is also present in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as Dr. Jekyll is handsome, and Mr. Hyde is hideous. While there are many superficial similarities between the two novels, there are also many differences, and the messages of each novel are distinct from one another. Beyond the superficial similarities, the two stories have many differences as well. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde continued his career of, basically, skewering the rich dilettantes and exposing hypocrisy (Ertman 153). The Picture of Dorian Gray, although it is considered to be a dramatic novel, has much in common with his satirical plays, such as Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. There was even a name that was the same – Mrs. Erlynne, who was a major character in Lady Windermere’s Fan, appears in The Picture of Dorian Gray, albeit only in a passing mention. The famous line regarding knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing was a part of this novel (Wilde 28), and was also featured in Lady Windermere’s Fan. The themes of skewering the rich, making this a subversively satirical novel, can be seen all the way through the novel (Foster, 18). The same is true for the issues regarding hypocrisy. First, as with Oscar Wilde’s plays, the men in this play are dandies (Foster 18) and do not have any visible means of income. The two main men in this play, Dorian and Lord Henry, apparently live off their inheritance and do not do any kind of work. Because of this, the two characters have the cynicism of the idle rich, especially Lord Henry, who was the influence for Dorian Gray. Moreover, all the way through, there was subtle commentary that is the province of Oscar Wilde, in general (Ertman 153). This is seen in Dorian’s fascination of the super-rich and their debauchery throughout history, such as when he was reading about, among other people, the Duke of Milan, who slew his wife, and Pope Innocent, “whose torpid veins the blood of three lads was infused by a Jewish doctor” (Wilde 141). Then, later in the novel, Dorian and Basil are arguing about Dorian’s associating with shady characters, and the implication is that these shady characters are all men of means – such as Kent’s “silly son [who] [took] his wife from the streets,” and Adrian Singleton who “writes his friend’s name across the bill” (Wilde 146). Then, Lord Henry talks about people who “balance stupidity by wealth, and vice by hypocrisy” (Wilde 190). Dorian tells Hallward that nobody can talk against him because everybody who talks about him do not have clean hands “what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite” (Wilde 147). In contrast, there is really no evidence that Stevenson meant for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to be a way of skewering the upper class, so much as it was supposed to be an exploration on how all of us are good and evil and that good and evil co-exist within each individual (Saposnik 716). Dr. Jekyll was not an idle rich man; he was a medical doctor and very well respected for that. There was also another main character, Mr. Utterston, who was a lawyer, and Lanyon, who was another ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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