Gothic Elements In The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

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During the time that Oscar Wilde was writing The Picture of Dorian Gray, gothic literature had declined in popularity. Although many of the gothic tropes still managed to make their way into many narratives of the late-nineteenth century. These narratives, Dorian Gray, included became known as Victorian gothic literature. The Victorian Gothics aimed to juxtapose the psychological terror, mystery, madness, and curses with a recognizable and familiar environment. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde focuses these gothic elements around the painting of Dorian. The painting fulfills the role of the supernatural element, the doppelganger, and the curse. The painting is the only true gothic element of the novel. In the preface Wilde states, “ All …show more content…
All of the gothic elements that are found in the novel are in one way or another connected to the painting of Dorian. By having the painting be the focal point for the gothic elements, Wilde creates a major contrast between the painting and the rest of the novel. The setting and everything else in the novel is very familiar and almost boring compared to the painting, which is dark, twisted, wicked, and mysterious. I believe that Wilde had a purpose behind why he had the painting be so different from the rest of the novel. I believe that Wilde created this contrast to draw attention to the painting and the implications that it had on the characters as well as the story as a whole. In the preface to the story, Wilde states, “ All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors”. The whole story is contradictory of Wilde’s statement. Wilde is saying that art is nothing more than something to look at and should only be used for its face value. But Wilde writes a whole story about someone who uses art for far more than aesthetic pleasure, and in the end that someone winds up dead. I believe that what Wilde wrote in the preface is what he truly believed about art and that he wrote this whole novel as a way of proving his point, to

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