Sin And Redemption In The Picture Of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde

Superior Essays
The novel The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Oscar Wilde is about the life of the character Dorian Gray. Dorian is a young and beautiful man who makes a Faustian pact that his self-portrait, drawn by painter Basil Hallward, would grow older as time past instead of Dorian. Throughout the story, Dorian commits many sins, for example, using his influence to ruin others’ lives and the murdering of Basil Hallward. However, Dorian’s appearance is still young and beautiful because the portrait suffers from all the sins he commits but not him. In the end, he tries to destroy the picture and ends up killing himself. One of the main themes of the novel is the relationship between sin and redemption. To commit a sin is to commit wrong actions that …show more content…
However, all of his attempts end as failures because his motivation in redemption is not purely good. For example, the first time he wants to atone for his wrongdoing is with Sibyl Vane. Sibyl is a beautiful low-class actress whose acting is phenomenal that Dorian is impressed the moment he laid eyes on her. When Dorian invites Lord Henry and Basil to watch her performance, Sibyl acts terribly because she realizes how her real life really is when she falls in love with Dorian. Dorian is furious with her poor acting and ends their engagement. Later, when he finds out that the portrait of him becomes crueler, he decides to redeem his sin by marrying Sibyl. Unfortunately, Sibyl killed herself before he could do it. Dorian is very angry when Lord Henry tells him the news, as he believes Sibyl “had no right to kill herself” and “it was selfish of her” to do so (Wilde 84). Dorian doesn’t show any remorse toward Sibyl’s death, as he is more worried about his stained soul. His motivation for atonement is selfish as he only wants his soul to be free from all sin. He cannot redeem his sin because the intention is not purely for Sibyl. Another attempt in redemption is when Dorian is in his forty after he indulges in committing sins. Dorian falls in love with Hetty Merton, a countryside girl who is innocent and pure, but he later decides to break up with her because he doesn’t …show more content…
In the novel, Dorian tries to redeem his sin multiple times; however, all his attempts do not change the portrait, which is his corrupted soul, for better because his motivation in atonement is not to compensate the victims, but rather, to erase his sins. Because he does not atone his sins with truly good intention, his sins are still there until he has to face the punishment of his heath. There are many real life accounts that reflected on the impossible of redemption, and one of the examples is the famous YouTuber Logan Paul. People cannot redeem their sins because the motivation is not sincerely for the victims but for themselves and their reputation. For those who want to change to better, they have to not commit any more sins and have a true intention of compensating their

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Claudio did not even discuss this matter in private, but he felt the need to tell the society and basically “slut-shaming” her in front of everyone. Then lastly he says she is “guilty of her modesty.” Shakespeare ultimately says that Claudio deceives his lover without any factual information, leaving her to be shamed in society for life. The self-deception Claudio facades on makes him react as a villain because…

    • 1223 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This is because he chose to stay with his statement which said that Abigail was a fraud and he chose that which would get him hung. John Proctor’s transformation is significant because it shows how he eventually forgave himself for being a sinner and becomes a good, noble and imperfect man. John refused to let the whole town find out about his affair and further embarrass his wife, as well as the loss of the respect he received in his village. John couldn’t handle living with his sin which was why he chose to die than…

    • 1272 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He didn’t know that it was a sign of life (although he should have), so he drank the poison to kill himself.This was a bad decision because it causes sorrow throughout the Montague family. Making bad decisions on impulse was how Romeo and Juliet killed themselves. Ignorance causes these rash decisions for other reasons. When Tybalt died, Capulet decided to make a quick and hasty arranged marriage between Juliet and Paris. He thought Juliet was grief stricken due to his death.…

    • 778 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    By ruining his own name and confessing his sins, he has the opportunity to put a stop to all of the lies created by Abigail and the other girls. Furthermore, he was willing to ruin his own reputation in an attempt to save the lives of many, including his wife: “I have made a bell of my honor! I have rung the doom of my good name—you will believe me, Mr. Danforth! My wife is innocent, except she knew a whore when she saw one!” (Miller 1309). Confessing the truth about his adultery was his last attempt to reveal the lies that plague the town, and it destroys both his honor and dignity.…

    • 1018 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This led to Othello hating himself for believing that the one woman he really loves cheated on him. He hated himself so much that he killed himself for killing her. Even though Emilia made some mistakes she is not to blame for the death of Othello and Desdemona. She had no idea what was in store for them when she showed Iago the handkerchief. Her mistakes and weaknesses were “catastrophic in consequence” but “are human and understandable enough to make her loveable” (Bowman 104).…

    • 744 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When people criticize The Picture of Dorian Gray lacks of standpoint about morality, Oscar Wilde defends his book by saying, “ All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment”. The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde, describes a beautiful gentleman Dorian Gray, under the influence of his two best friends, sells his soul in exchange for everlasting beauty and youth, and dies tragically at the end. In this novel, Dorian learns beauty and vanity when he saw his portrait painted by Basil Hallward, and desires for beauty and pleasure after listening to the words of Lord Henry. As Oscar Wilde moralized, these three main characters in this novel are all punished due to their excess or restrained emotion, which refutes…

    • 1060 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Tragic Hero Essay “Lead me away. I have been rash and foolish. I have killed my son and my wife.” -Creon Antigone, the play written by Sophocles, is about the dangers of pride and how it causes catastrophe for Creon. He nevers listens to reason or anybody else because he does not want to admit when he is wrong. He does this out of pride and it eventually ends up accidentally killing the ones he loves most and leaves him with nothing.…

    • 1046 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    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).…

    • 1790 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The first sign that Dorian is on a downward spiral is the death of Sibyl Vane in chapter eight. Dorian felt responsible for her suicide yet Lord Henry disagrees with this fact. Dorian was simply in love with the beauty and the talent Sibyl Vane had and was distraught when she no longer possess what he desired during that night’s performance. The smirk appears on the portrait after Sibyls death and grows into this hideous picture while Dorian remains this beautiful work of art; but one cannot run away from the things they have done. In chapter twenty, Dorian sees himself in the mirror and hates what he sees, so he shatters the mirror.…

    • 1063 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This turn in fortune is brought unintentionally by Creon 's fatal mistake, denying he is at fault brought by his pride, which he realizes in the end. While Creon faces such a drastic turn in his fortune, Antigone suffers grievances throughout the play. She loses her brothers in the beginning and is a daughter of a cursed family (586-8), which Antigone regards herself the "most accursed" (886). She is also aware that she will die for she is determined to bury her brother. Then, for her action, she is locked in a cave where she kills herself, lamenting about her inability to marry and bear children due to her premature death (861-3).…

    • 1145 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays