Books and Movies Reviews

The Characterization of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a strange novel that emphasizes a theme of individualism and the corruption that can arise as a result of another's influence.In this particular novel, we see this correlation directly; Dorian Gray is influenced and corrupted by Lord Henry Wotton.Although Lord Henry is not necessarily an evil person, he lacks morality and often puts the experience of pleasure above anything else.By carefully examining the transformation of Dorian Gray from an innocent being to a perhaps Dionystic character we see that Wilde uses the narrator's description of Dorian, Dorian's interactions with other characters, and the portrait to characterize Dorian and thereby introduce and emphasize the previously stated theme.
Our introduction to the character of Dorian Gray was meant primarily to prove his innocence and purity, perhaps in an effort to highlight his transformation to a man of little morality who's primary pursuit is pleasure.As the portrait is described before Dorian is even introduced in person to the novel, ourfirst impressions of him are primarily based on his outward appearance, which happens to be strikingly beautiful.The narrator describes Dorian as "…a young man of extraordinary personal beauty" (1).If we agree with a statement that Lord Henry later presents where he says an intelligent or corrupted man could not be beautiful, for it would show on his face (2) – a statement that today's society seems to be in agreement with, we might assume that Dorian Gray is innocent and pure, with a mind just waiting to be filled with ideas.Unfortunately, this easily influenced young man is introduced to Lord Henry, who's cynical, amoral, and pleasure-seeking outlook on life seems to rub off on Dorian, as we will later see.Lady Agatha, Lord Henry's aunt and an acquaintance of Dorian, describes Dorian as "a wonderful young man…&quo…


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