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Dorian Gray in the 21st Century - Literature review Example

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This essay explores the character of Dorian Gray, his fashion, and morality. Dorian Gray, as characterised by Oscar Wilde, typifies the ‘Dandy’ figure of nineteenth century society in terms of his sartorial style. His larger attitude towards life and art is seen to be influenced by a revised Hedonism…
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Dorian Gray in the 21st Century
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Download file to see previous pages The essay "Dorian Gray in the 21st Century" talks about the character of Dorian Gray and analyzes his morality, his fashion, and his behavior. It is his self-indulgence, aided by Lord Henry’s ‘influence’, that allows him to justify to himself and pardon any and all of his actions. It is his sensual indulgence that draws him towards the Decadent philosophy as typified in the ‘yellow book’ or Joris-Karl Huysmans’s À Rebours. It is this same obsession with sensual indulgence that prompts Dorian to throw his lavish parties, spend on experimental, orgiastic and exotic musical and literary soirees, study topics like the various perfumes that exist, and so on. This indulgence of the senses, taken to an extreme level by Dorian, becomes a substitute for morality. This is not true of Basil Hallward, who despite resembling ‘an aesthete’ in terms of his profession, sexuality and general demeanour, has a keen moral sense. This essential framework of Dorian is what we see for the most part of the book. However, this must be contrasted with his initial self, which although highly narcissistic, was also naive. It must also be noted that Dorian’s narcissism is not merely selfishness. His character is symbolically tied to that of the mythical Greek boy as he uses his ‘reflection’ or the painting to understand himself. For instance, it is on first sight of the painting that Dorian realises the extent of his beauty and its effect on people, after a singularly heinous act – like murdering Basil-. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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