The symbolic Use of Art in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Throughout history, art has actually played a major role in depicting the structure of society and the different roles people play in it. In Oscar Wilde’s unique The Image of Dorian Gray, art seems to determine the life of young Dorian Gray to the point of moral insanity, and eventually death. In the beginning of the unique, though, Wilde specifies that “All art is quite worthless.” This declaration is refuted as the unique advances, as it ends up being clear that art indeed does have the ability to manage one’s actions and define one’s total personal identity. Because of the result the portrait of Dorian Gray has on its subject, it is revealed that art certainly plays an essential function in the life of its spectators.

There are a number of statements made by characters throughout the book that seem to refute claims made in the preface of the novel. One such declaration is made in chapter 7, as Dorian contemplates the relationship in between his real life and the life portrayed by the portrait: “But the image? What was he to state of that? It held the trick of his life, and informed his story. It had taught him to enjoy his own beauty. Would it teach him to hate his own soul? Would he ever take a look at it again?” (99 ). Through this psychological revelation, it ends up being clear that Dorian is being strangely impacted by Basil’s painting. By asserting that the portrait “held the secret of his life,” the reader is lead to think that the portrait, and not Dorian himself, is the one in control of his actions. Because the picture does show the repercussions of Dorian’s everyday wrongdoings, one could assume that his soul is connected to the painting, as he wanted when he specified in chapter two, “If it were I who was to be constantly young, and the photo were to grow old! For that– for that– I would offer whatever! Yes, there is absolutely nothing in the entire world I would not provide! I would offer my soul for that!” (30 ). With these vain words, Dorian becomes connected to the painting on a level that is irreversible and absurd. Why, if art is expected to be ineffective, would a boy of such high stature feel the need to basically haggle away his soul for the sake of remaining like the creative portrayal of himself? The painting becomes a direct impact on Dorian’s actions, and plays a huge part in the result of his life.

Another example that appears to refute this argument is the focus put on several various art types throughout the unique by Henry and others. A number of mediums, from literature to theater, play a role in influencing Dorian. Dorian discovers and begins reading the so-called “yellow book,” which seems to influence him in an unusual method: “After a few minutes he ended up being soaked up. It was the strangest book that he had ever checked out” (134 ). We learn that the book has a profound impact on Dorian, as chapter eleven opens with the declaration, “For several years, Dorian Gray could not free himself from the influence of this book. Or possibly it would be more accurate to state that he never ever looked for to free himself from it” (137 ). Whatever details this book contains impacts Dorian in a manner that he has actually never ever been affected previously, and he seems to be captivated on a level unnatural for something of this nature. Another prominent artistic medium that impacts Dorian is the theater. As he watches Sybil Vane carry out in the function of Juliet, he is initially enthralled by her. He falls in love with Sybil, not for the girl she really is, however because of the method she depicts her roles. In this regard, it is safe to state that Dorian likes art, rather than loving any other individual. Love is a strong feeling; to say that a person is not impacted by love, even by the love of an art type, would be silly.

As it ends up being simple to see in The Image of Dorian Gray, art can play a major role in how one lives out his every day life. Whether it’s directly through a self-portrait of a private, the message one receives from a work of literature, or the feeling one gains from seeing an efficiency, art can make or break the peace of mind and emotion of a person. As the old stating goes, “An image’s worth a thousand words;” however, one’s life is much more important. The choices one makes ought to be based on his or her own sensations, not a work of art.

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