The Importance Of Beauty In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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In today’s society the idea of everlasting beauty is very prominent. This is seem through the many creams that can be used to help conceal wrinkles and make the skin smoother, however, those do not stop aging forever. In “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” by Oscar Wilde, everlasting beauty is an important aspect that leads to ultimate demise. During the Victorian era, beauty was extremely imperative. When an individual shows beauty they were considered to be very wealthy and influential people. Though not only the outward appearance of an individual mattered, the art in which surrounded them was also important. Only the wealthy and upper class of society could truly be able to understand the significance of the art; this frame of mind separated …show more content…
Right away in the beginning of the novel, Wilde describes Basil as an independent individual that is until he meets the mysterious Dorian Gray. Wilde writes in chapter one that Basil’s art changes after meeting Dorian, he becomes Basils, muse, art and life. Though right away Basil does see something wrong with Dorian by stating, “… I have given away my whole soul to someone who treats it as if it were a flower to put in his coat, a bit of decoration to charm his vanity” (Oscar Wilde, 9). Even Basil sees the bad side of Dorian yet since Basil is so smitten by the beauty of Dorian his art changes too. He yearns to capture the perfection of Dorian Gray by changing his art style to fit an almost Geek God look. In the end Basil becomes naive because he was so focused on the beauty and artfulness of Dorian that he never saw Dorian for who he really was. Only in the end does Basil see how his admiration and innate belief in the goodness of mankind masks the true monstrous nature of Mr. Gray, inevitably leading to the artist’s death. Basil is used to show that in art beauty is always good, but in reality it may be hiding the evil …show more content…
Lord Henry is very selfish and manipulative. He seems to have a power over Dorian, slowly changing Dorian into what Lord Henry wants. Wilde writes in chapter four, Lord Henry insists that an individual’s life should be spent appreciating beauty and finding pleasure instead of discovering ways to end pain. This shows that Lord Henry strives for mirror beauty and pleasure. Both beauty and pleasure are represented in art, specifically the portrait Basil made of Dorian. Lord Henry views Dorian as a piece of art that is perfect and does not need to change towards the end of the novel. Dorian even confesses about the murder of Basil in chapter nineteen and Lord Henry simply states that he could not have because he is simply perfect and that murder is for the lower class. Though Lord Henry feels this way about Dorian he does not bat an eye when thinking that Basil was murdered. Lord Henry felt there was not much loss for Basil since he was not making good art after he made the Portrait of Dorian. Lord Henry has no remorse for those that no longer have artistic worth. This makes him ugly on the inside which goes against the beauty that was so important to him, but goes with the true aesthetic of existing for one’s

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