Essay on The picture of dorian gray

This essay has a total of 788 words and 6 pages.


the picture of dorian gray





Oscar Wilde, author of The Picture of Dorian Gray, makes Basil's life
change
drastically by having him paint a portrait of Dorian Gray and express
too much of himself
in it, which, in Wilde's mind, is a troublesome obstacle to circumvent.
Wilde believes
that the artist should not portray any of himself in his work, so when
Basil does this, it is
he who creates his own downfall, not Dorian.
Wilde introduces Basil to Dorian when Basil begins to notice Dorian
staring at
him at a party. Basil "suddenly became conscious that someone was
looking at [him].
[He] turned halfway around and saw Dorian Gray for the first time"
(Wilde 24). Basil
immediately notices him, however Basil is afraid to talk to him. His
reason for this is
that he does "not want any external influence in [his] life" (Wilde
24). This is almost a
paradox in that it is eventually his own internal influence that
destroys him. Wilde does
this many times throughout the book. He loved using paradoxes and that
is why Lord
Henry, the character most similar to Wilde, is quoted as being called
"Price Paradox."
Although Dorian and Basil end up hating each other, they do enjoy
meeting each other
for the first time. Basil finds something different about Dorian. He
sees him in a
different way than he sees other men. Dorian is not only beautiful to
Basil, but he is also
gentle and kind. This is when Basil falls in love with him and begins
to paint the picture.
Basil begins painting the picture, but does not tell anyone about it,
including
Dorian, because he knows that there is too much of himself in it. Lord
Henry discovers
the painting and asks Basil why he will not display it. Lord Henry
thinks that it is so
beautiful it should be displayed in a museum. Basil argues that the
reason he will not
display the painting is because he is "afraid that [he] has shown in it
the secret of his soul" (Wilde 23). This is another paradox because he
has not only shown the secret of
his soul, but the painting eventually comes to show the secret of
Dorian's soul also. In
the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde explains that "to
reveal art and conceal
the artist is art's aim" (Wilde 17). Basil realizes that he has not
concealed himself in the
painting and therefore feels the painting is not worth anything. After
Lord Henry sees the
painting, he asks to meet Dorian. Basil says that would not be good
because his
"influence would be bad" (Wilde 31). Basil is correct in saying this
because Lord Henry
is the main person who helps Dorian to destroy himself. Lord Henry
disregards Basil's
request and meets Dorian anyway. This is the beginning of the end for
both Dorian and
Continues for 3 more pages >>