The Picture of Dorian Gray: Use of Mirrors Essay

In the questionable novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” the only released novel written by Oscar Wilde, the lead character Dorian Gray begins to indulge the concept of hedonism from fellow good friend Lord Henry. Dorian adores his appeal a lot that he wishes the painting Basil Hallward is painting of him to age in his location. As a matter a reality, the picture does age with every sin Dorian devotes, and Dorian’s outward appearance remains the same. The portrait is a reflection of dirty deeds done by Dorian, functioning as a kind of ‘mirror.

‘ Mirrors play a big function throughout the unique, as they help develop the theme of hedonism and represent how art remains in the eye of the beholder.

When Oscar Wilde released this unique, he faced many criticisms of homoerotic tones in the book. Dealing with such adversity, he added the beginning to resolve the criticism and assert the credibility of the book. The beginning mentions that “it is the spectator, and not life, that art actually mirrors.” (3) Simply put, art remains in the eye of the beholder, and this shows what the viewer sees as to the powerful of the feeling they get which in turn reflects one’s character. Art is reflected by the one seeing the art, and their analysis of it mirrors what they believe the art is supposed to represent. A viewer such as Dorian Gray learning the significance of his picture is an example of this.

On page 78, after declining his love Sibyl Vane due to bad acting, Dorian views the painting of himself. He notifications the painting is rather various than in the past as it now bears a subtle smear “The trembling, ardent sunlight showed him the lines of cruelty round the mouth as clearly as if he had been looking into a mirror after he had actually done some terrible thing.” (78) His desire has actually become a reality, as the portrait will age with each sin Dorian devotes, while his outside appearance of an incredibly good looking boy remains undamaged. The painting operates as mirror since it shows the spectator’s (Dorian’s) sins, and likewise reveals the wickedness of his soul. On the contrary, a real mirror just shows back what is in front of it, and nothing more.

With the use of the picture and mirror, these products aid with the character advancement of Dorian Gray. A reader can see how Dorian views himself when he deals with a mirror: “and stand, with a mirror, in front of the portrait that Basil Hallward [has] painted of him, looking now at the evil and aging face on the canvas, and now at the reasonable young face that laughed back at him from the refined glass.” (109) The mirror help Dorian to acknowledge that he still is a good-looking looking young man, while the picture portrays the wicked deeds that Dorian devotes. The theme of hedonism emerges also, which is where pleasure is the utmost essential objective in life, and Dorian seeks this pleasure from his look and can accomplish this by taking a look at a mirror.

Hedonism is a significant theme in the novel, and mirrors help to develop and maintain this style throughout the book. Character advancement is also acknowledged through the use of mirrors, as well as how art is in the eye of the beholder which is described in the beginning. The art is in the eye of the beholder phrase is intriguing, as Oscar Wilde’s book is questionable facing massive criticisms, such as people interested in homosexuality, during the publishing of his book. The expression within the preface worrying mirrors helps clarify the controversy related to the book. Mirrors reflect us, yet as represented in this book they can reflect our inner self.

Functions Pointed out

Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York City: Oxford University Press. 1998.

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