Innocence to Corruption in Oscar Wilde´s The Picture of Dorian Grey

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The power of influence takes a hold of Dorian Gray, transforming him from an innocent youth to a corrupt and deceitful man. Dorian’s character begins slowly deteriorating with the introduction of Lord Henry. Wilde portrays Lord Henry as a self-centered man. He perceptively creates a domino effect by influencing Dorian’s morals and altering his character. Oscar Wilde demonstrates negative influence throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray using a dark tone, intriguing imagery, and ominous diction, thus portraying the social theme.
Wilde shows Lord Henry grasping onto Dorian and his moral beliefs, “There is no such thing as good influence Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral-immoral from the scientific point of view.” Dorian quickly transforms
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Dorian falls in love with an alluring young actress, Sibyl Vane, whose character quickly deteriorates once Dorian belittles her as he announces the engagement has been called off, “I don’t wish to be unkind, but I can’t see you again. You have disappointed me.” After his decision, Dorian believes he made an awful mistake, and he must keep the promise of marrying Sibyl. Wilde uses imagery to convey his feelings, “The birds that were singing in the dew drenched garden seemed to be telling the flowers about her.” Dorian’s young and gullible views on life have been altered by Lord Henry as depicted after Dorian learns of Sibyl’s death; Dorian is unaffected due to the influence Lord Henry has on him, “Dorian, you mustn’t let this thing get on your nerves.” After Sibyl’s death, Lord Henry obtains full control of Dorian’s life. Lord Henry creates a domino effect with Dorian corrupting anyone and everyone around him, “Yet these whispered scandals only increased in the eyes of many his strange and dangerous charm.” Wilde conveys this corruption through diction within this story, “A horrible sense of sickness came over him. He felt as if his heart was beating itself to death in some empty hollow.” Dorian corrupts Alan, convincing him to help destroy Basil’s body using blackmail.

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