The Picture Of Dorian Gray Ambiguity Analysis

Improved Essays
As Oscar Wilde acknowledges statements and their alternatives, he allows the readers to interpret the significance of sin and morality on their own, leaving more of the story to the readers’ imagination instead of planting his views and ideas in their minds. Through using the contrasts of paradoxes and ambiguity, Wilde is able to express ideas that possess a deeper meaning than that of the superficial words. When Lord Henry speaks to Dorian about the immorality of influence, he essentially confirms the existence of a moral order that Wilde rejected at the beginning of his novel (Benson 29; Wilde 20). This sets up an aspect of contradiction in the novel and serves to enable the reader to pick a side, either that of the author or that of the characters who interpret the same ideas much differently. …show more content…
By using self-contradictory statements, Wilde is able to encompass the tension of inaccuracy and veracity simultaneously, indirectly adding to the dichotomy of themes in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde also contradicts himself in many occasions. He uses ambiguity to allow the readers to decide which of the three subject positions involved in artistic creation: the artist, model, and audience or the writer, character, and reader respectively, are represented in the novel (Gomel 1). By comparing himself to the artist, hence his novel to art, Wilde implies that “all art is quite useless” and that the aestheticism of it is its own reward (Wilde 2). However, through analysis of the novel, it’s obvious that Wilde used his novel to prove a point rather than allowing it to speak for itself as a piece of art, therefore contradicting himself and turning his philosophy into a paradox. Wilde’s philosophy, however, is not the only paradox in the

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    In the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, characters like Lord Henry, Dorian and Sibyl confuse and even manipulate the nature of art, who ultimately are convinced by their own interpretations of a work of art, base their life on that interpretation, and so become troubled when they are exposed to reality because they do not know how to handle it. All of this not only leads to numerous tragedies and avoidable deaths, it also shines a light on the souls of the characters, who are spectators of the work of art in the novel, to the readers, the spectators of Oscar Wilde’s…

    • 967 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    To accomplish the feat of criticizing a well-liked book without invoking an indignant reaction, Mencken uses rhetorical strategies to convince the reader of the flaws of the novel. Keeping in theme with the extravagance seen in The Great Gatsby, Mencken uses a similar strategy that Fitzgerald used throughout the novel. While describing the plot of the book, Mencken writes that “the garage…

    • 790 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The edits and revisions of Ayn Rand’s novella, Anthem, strengthen the message that collectivism is oppressive and objectivism is necessary for an individual to function. Rand’s edits of diction and sentence structure assist in developing the meaning of the novella. Ayn Rand, author of the novella Anthem, utilizes diction and sentence structure in order to develop the villainy of collectivism and the virtue of objectivism. Rand’s choice of diction in the edited novella complicates and confuses the meaning. In the original manuscript, Rand omits the word “reason,” on two separate occasions, the original statement was “I need no reason … I am the reason” (234).…

    • 1196 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Irony is generally defined as a rhetorical device and literary technique, where what is said on the surface differs entirely from the underlying message. Authors frequently use irony to further emphasize a truth or a central idea, by forcing the audience to stop and think over the events that occur in a story. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a profuse amount of irony to foreshadow upcoming themes in the novel and provide insight to the reader about the contradictions of a character, when their appearance on the surface is not always the true character underneath. To begin with, Hawthorne uses irony to emphasize the contradiction between a character’s surface appearance and the character in reality, when Dimmesdale is chosen…

    • 1178 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It is a direct result of the novel's covert and nuanced route in proposing unpretentious lessons and morals, that misreading has incite its blacklist. Nabokov's dynamic capacity in making Lolita is clear to open perusers who put aside their chance to grasp the layers of fiction required in the development of the characters. 3 The spoil of the novel, Humbert, comes to address Nabokov's significant stress with longing and the workings of the human identity. Through guile, conniving and control, responsive perusers are called to locate some shrouded importance of Humbert's uneven story—examining the breaks inside his comprehension remembering the true objective to get an all the more full photograph of the story he tells—doused with simply his first individual depiction as proposed truth. Simply separating Humbert's character through and through outfits the peruser with a fair of possible zones of stress, from mental issues to deviation from socially recognized lead and moral quality in present day society.…

    • 817 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Vonnegut uses art to portray life as not something to fear or slide by, but to revel in, like one does with art. Art has the power to alter one 's perception of reality and life. This jeopardizes the literal truth that life harbors. Vonnegut writes, "Well if you ever do do that book, you better make my father a saint, because that 's what he was"(112). Arts lies can influence how people view reality.…

    • 775 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Bates writes in his article that “Satire is satire not only because it attacks absurdity and vice but also because it alerts us to the incongruities inherent in a poet’s gesture of setting himself apart as an authoritative moral observer” (245). This is true in Wyatt’s poems because he incorporates his personal experiences. Thus, a possible reason many find his satire unintentional. Dolven meets halfway, and firmly believes, “Wyatt did not know what he was doing and that the something we are getting at has everything to do with style” (86). As much as I want to disagree, I see Dolven’s point.…

    • 1740 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    By both novels exemplifying a multitude of point of views, it allows freedom for a reader to analyze the perspectives of surrounding characters to either enhance the protagonist or to restrict the readers reach to them. Thus, the novel's attitudes and ultimate theme are constructed by the point of view by directing the reader to correspond with the perspective that the author is portraying. Capote's non-fiction novel exhibits this technique of utilizing point of view to persuade his bias on readers by him displaying both characters, Perry and Dick, in an opposing approach. The characters are juxtaposed with each other to ultimately help heighten Capote's theme of Perry being an example of a tragic hero by implying that the court system is corrupt in not further identifying Perry's mental stability. Findley correspondingly implements point of view in his novel to articulate his perspective on the wide-spread effect that war has on individuals whilst inserting his contrasting notion on life being eternal.…

    • 1211 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Which did you like better: Forster’s or Ellison’s story? Why? “Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed on him?” -Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange I start my essay by quoting Anthony Burgess. His single quote to summarizes the main plot device used in both Ellison’s as well as Forster’s stories to carry their own message across: the struggle between man and societal ‘oppressions’ – a squared framework in which everyone must conform to. Comparing both stories, we identify a character who defies the structures of their society in pursuit of their own ideals despite how society seemed to work against them and towards the ‘goodness’ of mankind.…

    • 1010 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde provides many opportunities for a reader to form his/her own attitude of each character and decide upon the reality behind the stories. The text allows readers to better understand and judge the characters independently however, it uses word choice and description to persuade readers to dislike and feel negatively towards characters who may be filthy or sinister. The text focuses on using the theme of filth to describe the setting so that readers can reason…

    • 1122 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays