Influence And Eestheticism In The Picture Of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde

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Taking place in England during the 1890s, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde tells the tragic story of a young and beautiful man named Dorian Gray. Artist Basil Hallward becomes infatuated with Dorian and his beauty after capturing a glimpse of him at a party. Basil invites Dorian over to paint a portrait of him, but Dorian is soon swept under the influence of Basil 's friend, Lord Henry Wotton. He tells Dorian that beauty and youth are the essence of humans ' existence, and because of that, Dorian 's free-spirited attitude is diminished as he becomes extremely self conscious about his appearance. Eventually, the now unhappy Dorian Gray wishes his soul away for eternal youth and beauty. His soul becomes trapped in his portrait Basil …show more content…
Over the course of Dorian 's ageless life, he begins to learn that the youth and beauty that once made him popular, lovable, and happy is now destroying him. Oscar Wilde, a leader of the Aesthetic Movement, relates his novel to the dangers of valuing appearance too much. During the movement, people emphasized aesthetic values more than social and political themes of literature and art. Appearance took precedence over morals. Likewise, it is because of Dorian 's self realization of his image that he wishes his soul away. Therefore, the themes of influence and aestheticism are the leading factors to Dorian 's downfall.
Influenced too deeply by others ' ideals and perspectives, one can begin to mold his life around those concepts. For Dorian Gray, his life is forever altered when he meets Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotton. Both men fill Dorian 's mind with scenarios of art and beauty he had never dreamed of previously. Lord Henry, in particular, fills Dorian 's mind with hedonistic values.
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However, the movement of aestheticism also plays a crucial role in Dorian 's downward spiral. The Aestheticism Movement during the 1800s s emphasized that art should be judged purely by beauty and form, rather than by any underlying moral or political message. Therefore, though a prominent leader of the movement, Oscar Wilde uses the emphasis of beauty over morality to show the dangers it brings about. The narrator states, "He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul" (Wilde 131). Dorian becomes immersed in the realization of his ageless beauty, and as an indirect result of that, he becomes even more obsessed with his flawed soul. While his bodily image is not affected by his wrongdoings, he has the constant reminder of his flaws hidden away in his picture. As claimed, "The painting is made to serve a moral purpose, being transformed from an object of beauty into a vile record of guilt, something bestial, sodden and unclean" (Buzwell). As the world around Dorian grows old, his slightly deranged and burdensome mind is horrified by his sin-filled painting. After reuniting with Basil Hallward after many years, Dorian agrees to show him the revolting portrait his friend once painted so beautifully. Out of disbelief, Basil jumps to the aid of helping Dorian get out his predicament. However, the delirious Dorian blames Basil

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