The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay example

1308 Words Oct 19th, 2015 null Page
In Oscar Wilde’s classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray, he writes about the good and bad parts of eternal youth while following the story of a curious man. Wilde presents a clear theme in the novel that art is a reflection, clearly shown through the way that a painting of Dorian Gray ages as he does not. The author uses multiple literary elements to exhibit this theme, including symbolism, imagery, irony, and foreshadowing. Put together, the devices make a haunting story that teaches a strong lesson that art reflects who a person really is. First and foremost, the story has a strong use of symbolism. The painting made by Basil Hallward represents not only the true age of Dorian Gray throughout the story, but also Dorian’s conscience. When he first sees the change in the picture, it shows a hint of cruelty in his face. At first, Dorian doubts that he had been completely cruel to Sibyl, blaming her for his actions, which is shown when he thinks, “Cruelty! Had he been cruel? It was the girl’s fault, not his,” (pg. 94). However, upon reflection on his actions due to the change in the picture, his thoughts change. He then decides that, “She must have suffered more than he had. Poor child! He had been selfish and cruel to her,” (pg. 95). This illustrates the effect that the conscience in the painting has on him, which demonstrates the theme that art reflects who someone is. Another use of symbolism in the story is the character Lord Henry Wotton himself. In a way, he represents…

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