The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

1576 Words Feb 2nd, 2016 null Page
Oscar Wilde, the author of The Picture of Dorian Gray, was one of the only men to question the logic of the social hierarchy created during the Victorian Era. His book remains a reminder that even widely accepted values can be logically flawed. Today, we look back on Wilde’s book as a classic example of good, thought provoking literature, but in his time period the book was met with great criticism and immense public pressure. His book was viewed as immoral and wrong because his hidden ideas did not echo the ideals which society valued. Oscar Wilde widely uses epigrams in The Picture of Dorian Gray to criticize the emphasis which society places on superficial characteristics, such as beauty. Wilde focuses on art as being a reflection of the viewer, which he uses to justify not only the crimes in his story, but also his superficial representation of Victorian society. After publication of the novel, Wilde received an incredible amount of criticism for his book being immoral and was eventually sent to a labor camp for sodomy. He wrote a preface as a response to the public outrage. In order to justify his story within his preface, Wilde called his book a piece of “art” and then casually stated, “It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors” (Wilde, Pg. Viii). This epigram was not only meant to make the readers think about what the book is actually saying, but it is also a subtle insult to the critics of his book and a justification for his criticism of Victorian…

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