Comparison Of Monster In Frankenstein And Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Superior Essays
Monsters have been involved in society since the beginning of time. A monster is the physical embodiment of everything that humans are afraid of. Monsters are featured in both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. There is a discrepancy, however, in what makes a man a monster. In both Shelley and Wilde’s novels, it is the creators, not the creations, who are the real monsters. Frankenstein is the culprit of his creation’s evil deeds because he abandoned him at the time of his birth, and Lord Henry leads Dorian Gray on a destructive path by being too involved in his life, and in both novels, appearance plays an important part in the creator’s involvement, or lack thereof.
Victor Frankenstein is the real monster
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Before meeting Lord Henry, Dorian Gray was not worried about aging or even his own beauty. Wilde writes, “The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation. He had never felt it before . . . They [compliments] had not influenced his nature. Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his terrible warning of its brevity” (18). Lord Henry is the one who made Gray conscious of his fleeting beauty. If Lord Henry had never warned Gray about how his beauty would not last then he never would have wished that his portrait would age but he would not. It is also Lord Henry who introduces Dorian Gray to hedonism, and it is under the ideas of this theory that Gray begins to only seek the pleasures of life. This philosophy leads him to be so shallow that he breaks up with Sybil Vane simply because of her poor performance in a play. Sybil Vane commits suicide because of her heartbreak, and at first, Dorian Gray is immensely upset about her death, but Lord Henry trivializes her death, explaining, “[D]on’t waste your tears over Sybil Vane. She was less real than they [her roles] were” (Wilde 75). Henry is telling Gray that Sybil was basically a character in a play and her suicide was just a part of a tragedy. Lord Henry is teaching Dorian Gray that other people’s lives are not as valuable as his own happiness. Gray also uses this …show more content…
Victor Frankenstein’s creation is hideous, and this is what makes him abandon it. Frankenstein declares, “Oh! no mortal could support the horror of that countenance” (Shelley 36). He is terrified by what he has created because it is not appealing, and the other people the creation encounters feel the same way. Frankenstein’s creation is treated so dreadfully because of his grotesque appearance, and this is what leads the creation to begin murdering innocent people. If the creation looked more aesthetically pleasing, Frankenstein would not have abandoned it at birth, and it would have received the acceptance it always craved. In contrast, it is Dorian Gray’s appearance that attracts Lord Henry. Gray is young and beautiful which is everything that Lord Henry wishes he could be. Liebman writes, “Dorian also represents a new life of sensation, emotion, and thought that Henry can experience vicariously and therefore safely” (302). Although Dorian Gray’s attractiveness is initially what drives Lord Henry to him, Henry later realizes he can easily influence Gray’s thoughts and actions in any way he sees fit. If Dorian Gray was unattractive, Lord Henry would have never become so infatuated with him and

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