Symbolism Of Flowers In Dorian Gray

2700 Words 11 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Wilde does this by alluding to the classical Greek story of Narcissus, whose fatal flaw was self-love. Wotton says “he is a Narcissus” (5), speaking of Gray. The Victorian flower code states that narcissus depicts “egotism” (Victorian Flower Code 4). This essentially foreshadows Gray’s true character in contrast to how Hallward describes Gray. Whereas Hallward describes Gray as wonderful and engaging, the use of narcissus foretells how Gray will succumb to his senses. Gray eventually sells his soul to the devil due to urgings of superficial self-love. Before Gray is physically present and aware of self-love, Wilde foreshadowed at his tragic flaw using the narcissus and the language of …show more content…
There are many more flowers with concealed importance such as tulips, lilies, and ivy that could have been discussed. Furthermore, it would be fascinating to see how floral imagery added to symbolic religious imagery in the novel, as well as how flower symbolism aided the novel in being a take on the Faustian Legend. This essay discusses enough of The Picture of Dorian Gray to explain how floral imagery impacted the novel’s meaning. The use of floral imagery and symbolism has earned Wilde a place as one of the greatest and most influential writers of all time.

Bibliography/Works Cited
"The Picture of Dorian Gray." Novels for Students. Ed. Ira Mark Milne and Timothy Sisler. Vol. 20. Detroit: Gale, 2005. 146-165. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 5 Sep. 2013.
Laufer, Geraldine A. Tussie-mussies. New York: Workman, 2000. Print.
Smith, Emily Esfahani. Wilde in an hour. 1st ed. Hanover: In an Hour, 2009. Print.
Solomon, Danielle. "The Orchids of Dorian Gray." N.p., 04 Dec 2012. Web. 11 Oct. 2013. <>.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Barnes & Nobles, 2003.

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