The Picture of Dorian Gray: Use of Mirrors

The Image of Dorian Gray: Usage of Mirrors

In the questionable book, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” the only released book composed by Oscar Wilde, the protagonist Dorian Gray starts to indulge the idea of hedonism from fellow friend Lord Henry. Dorian adores his beauty a lot that he wants the painting Basil Hallward is painting of him to age in his location. As a matter a fact, the picture does age with every sin Dorian devotes, and Dorian’s external look remains unchanged.

The picture is a reflection of misdeeds done by Dorian, acting as a kind of ‘mirror.’ Mirrors play a huge role throughout the unique, as they assist develop the style of hedonism and represent how art is in the eye of the beholder. When Oscar Wilde released this unique, he dealt with lots of criticisms of homoerotic tones in the book. Facing such misfortune, he included the preface to address the criticism and assert the track record of the novel. The preface mentions that “it is the spectator, and not life, that art actually mirrors. (3) To put it simply, art remains in the eye of the beholder, and this shows what the viewer views as to the potent of the sensation they get which in turn reflects one’s personality. Art is shown by the one seeing the art, and their analysis of it mirrors what they think the art is expected to represent. A viewer such as Dorian Gray finding out the meaning of his portrait is an example of this. On page 78, after declining his love Sibyl Vane due to poor acting, Dorian views the painting of himself.

He notices the painting is rather different than before as it now bears a subtle smear “The shuddering, ardent sunlight revealed him the lines of ruthlessness round the mouth as clearly as if he had actually been checking out a mirror after he had done some dreadful thing.” (78) His desire has actually come true, as the portrait will age with each sin Dorian commits, while his outward appearance of an extremely great looking young man stays undamaged. The painting functions as mirror because it shows the spectator’s (Dorian’s) sins, and also expresses the wickedness of his soul.

On the contrary, a real mirror just shows back what is in front of it, and nothing more. With making use of the portrait and mirror, these products help with the character advancement of Dorian Gray. A reader can see how Dorian views himself when he faces a mirror: “and stand, with a mirror, in front of the picture that Basil Hallward [has] painted of him, looking now at the evil and aging face on the canvas, and now at the fair young face that laughed back at him from the refined glass. (109) The mirror aids Dorian to recognize that he still is a handsome looking young man, while the picture represents the wicked deeds that Dorian dedicates. The style of hedonism develops also, which is where pleasure is the utmost crucial goal in life, and Dorian seeks this satisfaction from his look and can attain this by looking at a mirror. Hedonism is a significant theme in the novel, and mirrors assistance to develop and preserve this theme throughout the book. Character advancement is also acknowledged through using mirrors, along with how art is in the eye of the beholder which is described in the preface.

The art remains in the eye of the beholder phrase is interesting, as Oscar Wilde’s book is questionable facing enormous criticisms, such as individuals worried about homosexuality, throughout the publishing of his book. The phrase within the beginning concerning mirrors assists clarify the controversy associated with the book. Mirrors show us, yet as portrayed in this book they can show our inner self. Works CitedWilde, Oscar. The Photo of Dorian Gray. New York City: Oxford University Press. 1998.

You Might Also Like