How Beauty And Intelligence Can Not Co Exist Essay

1044 Words Apr 29th, 2016 5 Pages
that we were ever young; / It is to add, immured/ In the hot prison of the present, month/ To month with weary pain” (Arnold 21-25). Similar to Dorian Gray, the speaker would do anything to stay young and beautiful, aware of the better life one can live in society. During the late Victorian Era, there was an immense pressure put upon people to maintain their beauty. Aestheticism was an ongoing movement where individuals only had a value in society if they had a youthful appearance. Pressure to look a certain way took over the lives of many individuals. Both the poem and novel showcase this infatuation. After discovering the power that his charming look has, Dorian Gray places other important aspects of life below his need to stay beautiful, particularly intelligence and morality. Lord Henry himself states the idea of how beauty and intelligence cannot co-exist: “‘Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of the face’” (Wilde 6). Dorian chooses beauty over everything else. His lack of care for morals is especially evident when years after the suicide of Sibyl Vane, he crosses paths with her brother, James Vane. While exiting an opium den, Dorian is confronted by a haggard woman who addresses him as “Prince Charming”, which causes him to leave the den in a panic. Moments later, a strange man follows Dorian and assaults him. Dorian questions who he is, and with Dorian’s throat in his hands, the pugnacious man says:
‘You wrecked the life…

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