The Picture of Dorian Gray
‘The picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde has been branded amongst other things a book of inanity, pleasure as well as love. The book concerns itself with Dorian, who happens to be the main character. It looks at Dorian’s choices and their consequences as well as his soul and demise, though untimely. However, it also happens to be that strangely enough, ‘The picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde is a reflection of the personality of the author.
According to Andrew (2001), the three characters including Basil Hallward, Lord Henry and Dorian Gray go a long way to enhance two themes which future prominently throughout the book. These themes include duplicity and aestheticism. It is on the aestheticism motif that Wilde brings about the double life concept informing an abstract which is largely absurd and which goes ahead to blur the beauty concept. It is after Hallward is impressed by the beauty of Dorian that he takes to coming up with a young man’s painting that can be described only as ‘copy-cat’. After trusting in a new mode in his art, Basil goes ahead to execute the same as a result of being blinded by infatuation. It is important to note that Dorian makes a weird wish that instead of himself growing old, the portrait should accumulate age on his behalf. He however comes across people who appear not to be so keen in letting him maintain his beauty.
We then have the Lord Henry Warton who can suitably be described as flamboyant. He seems to be convinced that the senses fulfillment as well as beauty is what human beings should seek to pursue. According to Ellmann (1999), these are the same views Oscar Wilde holds. This goes ahead to highlight Wilde’s liking for aesthetics. It is after the realization that his beauty is slipping away that Dorian goes ahead to crave the ageing of the portrait in his place. Soon enough, we have his life ushered into acts that are largely debuchered especially after he goes ahead to trade is own soul. Throughout his life, a portrait blotch is a display of a human moral wrong. As a result of the loss of control over his soul, Dorian secretly engages in sinful ways and what informs all his is the absence of conscience on his part and his inability to distinguish between when is wrong or right.
Over time, we have the Portrait corrupted as a result of Dorian’s sins. To underline his lack of conscience and the absence of remorse over his actions, we have a scenario where Dorian shepherds to suicide a lady he was to spend the rest of his life with in marriage. He goes on a sinful spree where he commits lots of sins with concubines as well as opium as a result of his soul’s corruption. At it at the height of all this that he kills Basil as a result of the hatred he harbors against him. He then borrows chemicals from an ally and uses the same chemicals to melt Basil’s body as a way of disposing it. According to Lawler (2001), it is the remorse that Campbell is experiencing that drives him to taking is own life with a bullet. Soon after, reformation is seen as the only way to redemption by Dorian. Dorian wants to enhance the portrait’s image as well as better his soul. It is after he does one very commendable act that he realizes that there is no improvement on the part of the portrait whatsoever. This angers him so much and it is this state of anger hat he goes ahead to stab the portrait. The stabbing of the portrait is what ends Dorian’s life as the Portrait is basically his soul’s dwelling place.
According to Lawler (2001), the initial text of the book prior to revision has some instances that were largely seen to be homoerotic. Possibly, as a pointer to the riotous as well as turbulent lifestyle of Wilde, Basil is obsessed to some extent with Dorian’s beauty. This is possibly a pointer to his erratic relations with Ross Robert, Boise, Douglas as well as Lord Alfred. It is important to note that this does not only have an effect upon Basil but it goes a long way to round the plot’s characters.
According to Lawler (2001), Wilde’s character is reflected by the characters in more than one way. What depicts the semblance of the author with the characters in this case is in a large way is the aesthetic forms admiration as well as the beliefs observance of beliefs that can be seen to be largely dimensional as well as its execution. It is important to note that the realization of Basil’s potential as far as artistry is concerned in Dorian’s portrait ends up giving way to splendid work. However, the portrait ends up informing the death of Dorian after the stabbing that can be taken to be largely figurative. Further, it may be noted that what informs the downfall of Wilde is his craving for competence in anesthetics.
It can also be noted that Lord Henry Wotton replicates Wilde. Lord Henry is brought out as Basil’s ally but strangely as it may be, he is attracted by some extent to Dorian. This can basically be mapped to represent the relationship between Lord Alfred Douglas with Wilde. Here, his world view is relayed to Dorian with an emphasis on beauty essence as well as the need to enhance ones senses. The corruption of Dorian’s mind by these events can be related to the Gay acts as well as extramarital affairs of Wilde. Wilde’s downfall is largely informed by his search as well as obsession with sexual fulfillment as well as his well documented relationship with Lord Douglas which motivates his defamation.
Wilde’s personification is well brought out by Dorian Gray. The various encounters which inform his life as well as his love for anesthetics is the first point of his clear depiction in the text. According to Andrew (2001), his skewed moral standing as well as bumpy family relations is well recorded. It is his indecency that informs his jail stint and Ellmann (1999) further notes that this is a symbolic aspect of a portrait that is corrupted and the stabbing of the portrait is largely his last days that inform his wallowing in poverty.
In conclusion, it is important to note that the author of ‘The picture of Dorian Gray’ correctly came up with his own life’s prophecy. Through his characters, he foresees his downfall through highlighting his beliefs. All in all his life as well as death is brought out well through Dorian.
Andrew, Mantoine. The Picture of Dorian Gray– Introduction Penguin Classics 2001
Ellmann, Williamson. Oscar Wilde Vintage, 1999
Lawler, Donald. "An Inquiry into Oscar Wilde's Revisions of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray" New York: Garland, 2001