The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

967 Words 4 Pages
In the preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wide writes: “It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors”. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text.

The quote, “It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors,” is a case in point of Dorian Gray’s portrait. Dorian’s image reflects his inner self, and mirrors his soul. The Picture of Dorian Gray highlights the idea of aestheticism and challenges influence of art over an individual instead of the realities of life. This essay will discuss the evidence in the novel that supports Oscar Wilde’s quote. It will consist of two parts: Dorian Gray’s perception of his own portrait as a beholder and the evolvement of Dorian Gray’s affection towards Sibyl.

Dorian Gray’s Perception of His Own Portrait as a Beholder
Due to the fact that the portrait is kept in a hidden room, the only man who can see the change of the portrait is Dorian Gray himself. And in this case of Dorian, the work of art literally reflects the spectator’s
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Artists can paint life, but they can also portray fantasy or non-reality as a means of expression. The spectator, however, holds the consciousness and decision to interpret the piece of art in his or her own way. Humans see what we want to see. And so most of the time, art reflects our desires instead of life and reality. In the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, characters like Lord Henry, Dorian and Sibyl confuse and even manipulate the nature of art, who ultimately are convinced by their own interpretations of a work of art, base their life on that interpretation, and so become troubled when they are exposed to reality because they do not know how to handle it. All of this not only leads to numerous tragedies and avoidable deaths, it also shines a light on the souls of the characters, who are spectators of the work of art in the novel, to the readers, the spectators of Oscar Wilde’s

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