Essay on The Picture Of Dorian Gray

1003 Words Aug 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
As once stated by Bernard Malamud, “The purpose of the writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” It is a known fact that society is highly influenced by the media and other forms of literature and art that it consumes. Being aware of this, it is the writer’s responsibility to produce work to positively influence society and to prevent its own downfall. Malamud is correct in this statement because it is up to the writer to counteract the negative influences that society consumes. Without the writer trying to push society to preserve itself, civilization’s own deterioration would be inevitable. This idea is seen in both The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, where the writers fulfill their duties of keeping civilization from destroying itself by presenting fictional instances of possible destruction. In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde exercises his responsibility of aiding society in preserving itself by using the destructive influences that both the yellow book and Lord Henry had on Dorian as a warning for society. Upon being introduced to Lord Henry by Basil, Dorian Gray’s moral and outlook on life is dramatically warped. As Dorian is introduced to this “new Hedonism,” he begins to become interested in living simply for his own worldly pleasure. Reflecting the destruction of Gray based on his newfound immorality and narcissism, Wilde uses the portrait of Gray painted by Basil as a symbol for the…

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