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The Moral And Ethics Of The Picture Of Dorian Gray

797 words - 3 pages

During the Victorian era the views of society were somewhat strict. Since it was the romantic period there was a sense of independence when it came to their personal views. But if anything was too exorbitant, it was either ignored or “socially” punished. To one’s surprise you may find that the morals and ethics presented in this book are not what you may expect at first. When morals and ethics are largely exhibited in a book it is usually to convey a way of thinking that is good, not one that is all about covetousness and self-preservation.“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.” (pg. 43).
Lord Henry is an example of the moral and ethical views given in the book. Though they are not actual views from real people, they do reflect the ideas of those in that time period. “Harry” as they called him was a man of deception, he may portray himself as one person but in reality is someone else entirely. At first glance Harry seems to be just another rich man who enjoys the benefits of his life, but as the story progresses you see that he is something completely different. He is a man that enjoys influencing people, his morals and ethics are those of someone with a more sinister demeanor. “There was something terribly enthralling in the exercise of influence. There was no other activity like it. To project one’s soul into some gracious form, and let it tarry there for a moment; to hear one’s own intellectual views echoed back to one with all the added music of passion and youth;...” (pg. 38).
Lord Henry’s morality is in some ways a reflection of Oscar Wilde’s idol, Walter Pater. Pater was a man of deep personal thought. Even with this “deep” thinking, many of his ideals were based on the simple things in life. These simple realizations were the basis of the darker more intense ideations of Lord Henry. The interesting thing is that many of Harry’s thoughts are like an iceberg, they may seem harmless, but the more you look the more you realize that it is just a glimpse into his tainted soul. And when a woman kills herself because Dorian does not love her back Harry proclaims...

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