The Pupil Exceeds The Master: The Authentic Dandy Within The Portrait Of Dorian Gray

905 words - 4 pages

Within The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde depicts two characters that follow the philosophy of Walter Pater. These two characters are Dorian Gray and Henry Wotton. They both embody Pater’s ideal of placing as much enjoyment in one’s short life as possible. While Dorian learns of Pater’s philosophy from Henry he soon exceeds his teacher and becomes invested within the philosophy of living life to the fullest. Dorian exceeds Henry in Pater’s philosophy through his active experimentation and desire for beauty, but Dorian fails to live up to all of Pater’s expectations due to his inability to separate morality for art.
Through the novel Henry’s conversations with Dorian and Basil Hallward depict him as an invested disciple of Pater. Henry’s insight into to Pater’s philosophy can best be seen when he states that, “the only horrible thing in this world is ennui” or boredom (Wilde 220). Henry echoes Pater’s distaste for the formation of habits and not having new experiences that bring the individual out of their daily rut. Henry is the one who advises Dorian to live his life to fullest and to appreciate art and beauty, but the reader is not privy to Henry’s private life or his internal thoughts. While Henry accurately represents Pater’s ideals through his speech the reader cannot assume that he also enacts them in his daily life. The reader is reminded of their lack of insight into Henry’s character when Basil continually states “you don’t mean a single word of all that, Harry” (200). Basil is a close friend to Henry and from the beginning of the novel Basil is not blind to flaws of Henry’s character. In fact, he is fearful that Henry’s influence will corrupt Dorian. Due to the readers disconnect to Henry’s character the words of Basil cannot be discounted. While Henry talks about living life to the fullest Dorian embodies that philosophy. Dorian becomes engrossed with knowledge and begins to learn about history and the ways of the world through the “study of perfume”, “music”, “jewels”, and “embroideries” (132-135). Through his experimentation Dorian refuses to form habits and keeps an open mind about the world he lives in.
While Dorian opens his mind he also possesses a fascination with beauty. Dorian is more specifically interested in the preservation of his own beauty. In the passion of the moment he sells his soul for eternal beauty and he becomes engrossed in retrieving the beauty within the visual depiction of his inner soul and self. When Dorian decides to turn away from sin his motivation is completely focused on...

Find Another Essay On The Pupil Exceeds the Master: The Authentic Dandy within The Portrait of Dorian Gray

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

512 words - 2 pages In the book "The picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde I believe that the character Lord Henry Wotton had a dramatic influence over the events in the life of main character, Dorian Gray. When this book was first published it was received with public outrage and resulted in the downfall of Wilde but it has now become one of his most celebrated works. The opening paragraph of the book introduces us to two of the pivotal characters of the book

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

1685 words - 7 pages # #Ashley Harris Ms. Wojcok December 10, 2001 The Picture of Dorian Gray In Oscar Wilde'sThe Picture of Dorian Gray the character Dorian changes from a good and innocent person to a cruel and cold-hearted murderer through the influence of people he meets. At the beginning of the book when he doesn't know many people he is good and everyone likes him and adores him, and is even a little bit jealous of him. By the end of the book nobody likes him

The Picture of Dorian Gray

1686 words - 7 pages to Lord Henry’s vision. When Lord Henry first meets Dorian Gray, he notices Dorian Gray’s beauty. Lord Henry tells Dorian that youth and beauty are the finest of all treasures, and they should be cherished and guarded because they quickly fade. Recollecting the words of Lord Henry, Dorian first recognizes the extraordinary beauty and youth in the portrait and then is pained by the thought of losing it. He envies the figure in the painting, and

The Monster Dorian Gray

2365 words - 9 pages others finally laid eyes on the portrait it had been cut open, returned to its original state, but there laid Dorian’s mangled withered body; he had become everything he tried to avoid (Cummingsstudyguides.net). Though Dorian’s youth was held to high esteem, he was ultimately wrong in choosing vanity over the modesty he knew so well. In today’s society we still carry a piece of the Victorian era, a piece of Dorian Gray with us. Many have

The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay: The Soul of Dorian

722 words - 3 pages The Picture of Dorian Gray   "The soul is a terrible reality. It can be bought and sold. It can be poisoned or made perfect. There's a soul in each one of us. I know it." This is a statement made by Dorian Gray to his best friend, Lord Henry, a few hours after he realizes that his behavior of the last eighteen years has been absolutely terrible.             First I shall

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

1722 words - 7 pages Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray      The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel by Oscar Wilde. The genre of this novel can be classified as a comedy of manners or a gothic novel. The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published in 1890 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. Another version with an additional six chapters was published in 1891. One of the major themes in the novel was the Supremacy of Beauty and Youth. A very attractive man

Beauty in The Picture of Dorian Gray

1406 words - 6 pages 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

The (Shallow) Picture of Dorian Gray

1210 words - 5 pages Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray presents a keen question on morality: can one cleanse the senses by the means of the soul, and the soul by the means of the senses? Dorian Gray lives out this epigram of Lord Henry’s in an attempt to justify a life of hedonism and over-objectification of beauty. Wilde introduces Dorian as a young man whose beauty rivals the “invention of the oil painting” itself (Wilde 7). Basil Hallward, the painter

Character Analysis: The Picture of Dorian Gray

669 words - 3 pages Dorian Gray ---- A young man that comes from a broken family, and a life of pain. He and Basil Hallward had met at a party and instantly become friends. Dorian visits Basil everyday, until he meets Basil's friend Lord Henry. Dorian is fascinated with what Lord Henry tells him. Basil had painted a beautiful picture of Dorian. Mr. Gray had mixed emotions about the painting, all because of what Lord Henry had said to him earlier. Lord Henry told

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

1105 words - 4 pages Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray - What is the author trying to say about life through this book? Explain why you think so. I am not to sure on exactly what the author is trying to say through this book. I think he is telling us to live a full and moral life. Well I don't think he expects us to lead a completely moral life, but because of the picture of Dorian's soul I think he was trying to say lead a good life. He wants us to know

The Conscience of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

2871 words - 11 pages The Conscience of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray Much of the criticism regarding The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde has dealt with Dorian Gray’s relation to his own portrait (Raby 392). While some may argue that the portrait represents a reflection of Dorian Gray’s character, this is only a superficial analysis of the novel and Dorian’s character. While Dorian Gray’s true character never changes, it is his

Similar Essays

Essay Discussing The Validity Of Critics As Well As Oscar Wilde In Defense Of His Literary Work "A Portrait Of Dorian Gray."

707 words - 3 pages letters of opposition to defend his work; much as Basil had placed too much of himself in Dorian Gray's portrait, it is plausible that Wilde too deposited too much of himself into the novel. Aside from personal vanity and inherent feelings towards the novel, Wilde also used the paper as a forum for advertisement. As well, to dispute the Gazette's proclamation that the book should not be read. In defense of the Gazette, there is little intrinsic bias

The Comparison Of Dorian Gray Essay

933 words - 4 pages In the book, the Story of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is about a gentleman who deals his soul for eternal youth, and lives a hedonist lifestyle that goes terribly wrong. Dorian Gray loses his fiancé to suicide, which resulted in his first sin revealing itself in the painting. After Sybil Vane dies, her brother, James seeks revenge on Dorian. Subsequent to that, Dorian goes on to kill his friend, Basil Hallward, the painter of his portrait. In

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

2305 words - 10 pages becomes intensely vain and selfish. The portrait is in direct correlation with the immoral influence and the intense vanity. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde effectively uses the portrait of Dorian Gray as a symbol to satirize the adverse effects that social pressures and excessive vanity have on a person’s morality. This idea of Aestheticism transformed the people of 19th century Europe. The Picture of Dorian Gray was written in 1890

The Comparison Of Dorian Gray Essay

710 words - 3 pages In the book, the Story of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is about gentleman who deals his soul for eternal youth, and lives a hedonist lifestyle that goes terribly wrong. Dorian Gray loses his fiancé to suicide, which resulted in his first sin revealed in the painting. After Sybil Vane dies, her brother, James seeks revenge on Dorian. Subsequent to that, Dorian goes on to kill his friend, Basil Hallward, the painter of his portrait. In the end