The Importance Of Sin And Redemption In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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In the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, sin and redemption is an occuring theme. The main character, Dorian Gray, commits plenty of sins and has the opportunities for redemption, however, when Dorian tries to atone for his wrongdoings he is unsuccessful. Dorians’ underlying intentions keeps him from redemption, due to his hedonistic views. In the beginning of the novel, Dorian is portrayed as a young and innocent boy that is easily influenced by Lord Henry, a character with a hedonistic view. Hedonism is described as the “theory of ethics in which pleasure is regarded as the chief good, or the proper end of action.” (hedonism) Throughout the novel, it is prominent through his action that the influence of hedonism reflects the …show more content…
He is intrigued by her beauty and her voice, it lits up curiosity in him. This scene first indicates the transition of Dorians’ view, as a man offers to tell Dorian more about Sibyl, however he denies it. “‘The Jew wanted to tell me her history, but I said it did not interest me.’’(48) This shows the gradual progression of hedonistic views because Dorian is absorbed with the pleasure he feels when looking at Sibyl and hearing her voice. Dorian shows his friends Sibyl, however her acting is shameful and Dorian gets upset at Sibyl. He expresses that Sibyl does not provide any curiosity to him and so he wants to end things with her. Dorian commits a sin of yelling and getting upset with Siby over a little thing (43-75). Later in the novel, Sibyl decides to take her own life. Dorian tries to redeem himself by writing an apologetic letter to her, however his intentions are not meaningful. “For every sin that he committed, a stain would fleck and wreck its fairness… He would go back to Sibyl Vane, make her amends, marry her, try to love her again.’ (78) His underlying intention is to ensure that his portrait would not change. This opportunity of atonement could have been the reason of redemption for Dorian, however he did not truly mean it. Dorian was trying to knock two bird with one stone, but in the case of redemption, it is …show more content…
Dorian brings Basil into his house to show him his soul. When Dorian shows Basil the portrait, the picture looks hideous and much different than what it looked like before. Dorian explains that he made a faustian pact when Basil first painted the portrait. Basil tries to help Dorian redeem himself by saying,“‘Pray, Dorian, pray.’” (132) Basil gives the opportunity to Dorian to redeem himself, except Dorian is cruel and inhumane. He does not care for redemption anymore, Dorian murders Basil and this is shows the shattering pieces of Dorian human soul vanishing. This instance is not the only scene where Dorian chooses to not redeem himself, there are many more

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