In Oscar Wilde’s only unique The Picture of Dorian Gray, lots of impacts are at play throughout the book. The relationships between the characters are all about the influence they have on each other’s life. Nevertheless, out of them all, among the characters stands apart as a more detached figure who has actually mastered the art of affecting without being affected by others himself: Lord Henry Wotton.
To study the various kinds of impacts in the book, we will initially concentrate on the link between art and influence before relying on the study of the impact of Lord Henry and Basil on Dorian, to finally discuss the impact of all the impacts on Dorian and debate over whether Dorian can be thought about as an evil character at the end of the book. The first character who embodies the link between art and impact is Sybil. From the start, Sybil is a character that is just portrayed through her art.
She is an actress and all her life is dedicated to acting to the point that the frontier in between her life and her act is not constantly extremely clear to her and to the reader. She even makes her story with Dorian sounds like a fairy tale illustrating him as a prince, “Prince Charming”, coming to rescue them from Mr. Isaacs to whom they owe money: “We don’t want him any more, Mother. Prince Lovely rules life for us now.” Just like Dorian, Sybil is a sort of creation which accounts for her suggestibility. She is what her mother and Mr.
Isaacs made her. Her mom does not want her to “think about anything but [her] acting” and due to the fact that she overlooks everything about real life, she lives the functions she plays as real life which is precisely what makes her such a great starlet. And it is her skill as an actress that arouses Dorian’s interest. Yet, by making it possible for Sybil to discover the vanity of acting through her discovery of real love, Dorian ruins Sybil’s skill. And by destroying her skill he ruins his interest in her which leads him to despise her and leave her.
Clearly, Dorian’s impact on Sybil’s life and art is vital but she is not the only character affected by Dorian. Dorian’s picture is explained in the book as Basil’s work of art and it is so because Basil had never ever been as motivated by a subject prior to. The first time Basil saw Dorian he tried to prevent meeting him and validates his doing so by saying that he “did not desire any external impact in [his] life”. This clarifies the truth that he already knew before even speaking with Dorian that his impact on him and his art would be so fantastic.
And it is the very impact of Dorian that allowed Basil to reach a brand-new level in his development. Not just has Dorian permitted Basil to attain “the best thing [he] ha [s] ever done”– according to Lord Henry– in painting Dorian’s picture but he has actually likewise influenced him in every art piece he has painted given that he met Dorian, as shown in this extract: “Some subtle impact passed from him to me, and for the first time in my life I saw in the plain woodland the marvel I had actually always searched for, and constantly missed out on. It is clear that fulfilling Dorian is a real turning point in Basil’s creative life. Nevertheless Dorian can not be described as a mere source of inspiration to Basil; he is his muse who involves more than motivation but also adoration and idolatry. The level of Dorian’s influence on Basil’s art and life is made obvious when Basil does not want to expose the picture and says “I have actually put too much of myself into it”.
When Lord Henry asks Basil more information on how he met Dorian and how it altered drastically his life as an artist, it ends up being clearer and clearer that Basil feelings for Dorian are feelings of love. And those sensations bring Basil to oppose himself on what he believes art should be. After being so significant on Dorian’s influence on his art, he appears to be sorry for the method he felt and believed and explains that he was “silly” of thinking so: “Even now I can not assist feeling that it is a mistake to believe that the enthusiasm one feels in creation is ever really displayed in the work one produces. After embracing that way of thinking, Basil’s painting gradually “go [es] off” as Henry later states: “It seemed to me to have actually lost something (…). When you and he ceased to be terrific friends, he ceased to be a great artist.” If Dorian’s portrait is Basil’s masterpiece, the portrait’s role in the story is not restricted to being a fantastic piece of art and the photo can be thought about as a character in its own right.