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Beauty In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

1406 words - 6 pages

In Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, beauty is depicted as the driving force in the lives of the three main characters, Dorian, Basil and Lord Henry. Dorian, the main character, believes in seizing the day. "Dorian is described as an addict, having mad hungers that grew more ravenous as he fed them." Basil, the artist, admires all that is beautiful in life. Lord Henry, accredited one's physical appearance to the ability of achieving accomplishments in life. "Lord Henry's moral position in Dorian Gray is akin to that of the devil; he is the initial serpent in the Garden, and continues to coax Dorian to evil throughout the novel." Beauty ordains the fate of Dorian, Basil, and Lord Henry. The novel embodies the relationship of beauty and morality. Beauty is not based on how attractive an object is to everyone, but how attractive it is to one. This story describes how the external attractiveness of a person can influence people's behavior and can corrupt their inner beauty.
Dorian Gray's life is dictated by his physical appeal "extraordinary personal beauty". His beauty lies within his
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youth. Dorian's perception of beauty allows him to love. He is convinced that his beauty allows him to accomplish anything he desires regardless of the consequences and still be loved by his friends. He uses his beauty to mitigate his evil actions. Dorian says, “I don't wish to know anything about them. I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself don't interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty.” Youth and beauty are the most precious things to Dorian. In his life, beauty is of utmost importance. Then he sees the picture of himself, painted by Basil, absorb his sins and this changed his view. “I hope it is not about myself. I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else,” Dorian said. "Dorian's features retain their youth and purity, while his deepening moral corruption caused by his narcissistic worship of the beautiful is made visible only in the portrait." Dorian sets his conscience aside and lives his life according to a single goal of acheiving pleasure. His painted image, however, asserts itself at his conscience and hounds him with the knowledge of his crimes. He aspired to have had a good life rather than one filled with artificial meaning. The image of Dorian reflects his conscience and his true self, and serves as a mirror of his soul. The moral beauty of Dorian lies within the portrait of himself. The portrait imitated his life. He finally realized that beauty cannot help him escape his evil actions. He deeply lamented his wish that the portrait bore the burden of his age and sin. He
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finally realized there is no way to undo the effects of age or of sin on a soul. Dorian tries to destroy the picture, so he will no longer be reminded of the evil that beauty has caused him. But, as he destroys the picture, he kills himself, and the picture is...

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