Morality In Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Oscar Wilde’s, The Picture of Dorian Gray, examines the concept of morality and how it may change through the influence of others. In several unique instances, the direct influence of another can change a person’s moral understandings and actions for this is most clearly notable in the relationship between Lord Henry Wotton and Dorian Gray. Ultimately, Lord Henry’s corruptive nature was responsible for the downfall of Dorian Gray by purposefully exposing Dorian towards a hedonistic and sinful lifestyle for his own satisfaction, which evidently led him into a path of self-indulgence. Ever since the beginning of the novel, Dorian immediately succumbs to the corrupt influence of Lord Henry. While listening to his epigram over philosophical temptations, …show more content…
He is aware that his words are far more deceiving than his actions and therefore employs the tactic of manipulation with the understanding that there are no consequences when tampering with Dorian’s soul. He creates his own theories and immoral views out of his corruptive nature in order to experiment on who might implement these ideas into action because he is not willing to try them himself by stating, “You never say a moral thing, and you never do a wrong thing. Your cynicism is simply a pose.” (Wilde 4). The deeper significance behind this statement is that he’s afraid to do wrong; however, he feels the need to influence others in order to entertain himself with the things he would not do. In my opinion, Lord Henry does not deliberately attempt to destroy Dorian’s life, however he is cynical in the fact that he treats Dorian’s soul as inconsequential and therefore is able to use Dorian as type of puppet with no restrictions. This undoubtedly represents Lord Henry’s hedonistic influence as in fact responsible for the change in Dorian Gray’s nature although he might not intend for Dorian to be led to his demise. In conclusion, through the art of influence and manipulation, Lord Henry’s influence on Dorian Gray is rather unfortunate since he never had the opportunity to discover himself as well as his values; it was rightfully taken away from him. And because of this, Lord Henry is considered to be entirely responsible for the transformation that Dorian undergoes. Consequently, Dorian becomes lost in the immorality of sinfulness and is led towards a life filled with guilt, murder, and self indulgence all due to the corrupt, persuasive statements that Lord Henry deliberately

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