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Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Introduction

James Wright 4jrp 11.01.06 Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray Coursework Essay "Whatever my life is, he had more to do with the making or marring of it than poor Harry has had. He may not have intended it, the result was the same." (Dorian to Alan Campbell, chapter 14). Consider who is most to blame for Dorian's moral decline. Make close reference to two or three key episodes in your answer. The Novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a tale of meddling with the devil and a pursuit for pleasure to satisfy one's own needs. The downfall of Dorian Gray is the main occurrence during the novel which is the most intriguing of all. The first time Dorian Gray is introduced to the reader is by Basil Hallward admiring him, whilst chatting with Lord Henry or Harry. Basil presents Dorian as a beautiful, caring, charitable and loving creature with extreme popularity. Dorian Gray is a charming young man from Basil's perspective. In this first chapter Basil says he admires Dorian Gray like he is one of his prized possessions. "Dorian Gray is my dearest friend.... ...read more.

Middle

This shows Dorian's moral decline has already begun. This also shows that Lord Henry is influencing Dorian to mix with filthy and uncivilised women. Lord Henry is passing on his views on the world and making Dorian feel the same way, he suggests Dorian live life to the full. Dorian now wants to experience every aspect of life, even lowlife activities. Near the end of the Novel Dorian Gray kills Basil Hallward. The chapter is about Dorian Gray revealing his secret to Basil Hallward and then Basil is horrified as the disfigured picture conjures in front of his suspicious face. Dorian then stabs Basil, thinking that the portrait would return to its original condition, a beautiful painting of Dorian Gray. "His eye fell on it. He knew what it was. It was a knife that he had brought up, some days before, to cut a piece of cord, and had forgotten to take away with him. He moved slowly towards it' passing Hallward as he did so. As soon as he got behind him, he seized it, and turned around. Hallward stirred in his chair as if he was going to rise. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows Dorian's moral decline, in the beginning, care and consideration but now he resorts to blackmail and corruption. This shows Dorian's downfall at its peak. Again Lord Henry's influence for only caring about oneself is shown here. Dorian Gray is most responsible for his own moral decline, however Lord Henry is closely related to Dorian Gray's moral decline. Lord Henry suggested to Dorian he should go for a more pleasurable approach to his lifestyle. Dorian took up Lord Henry's suggestion and started travelling down the road of corruption. Dorian's search for pleasure in the East-End leads to Dorian falling in love with Sibyl Vane who then commits suicide. Dorian is heartbroken by the tragic death of Sibyl Vane and couldn't believe Sibyl Vane had actually taken her own life. Dorian's pursuit for pleasure also lures him into smoking heavily tainted opium cigarettes. Dorian's moral decline is heavily in progress. The peak of Dorian's moral decline is the murder of Basil Hallward and the meeting with Alan Campbell. These episodes show the reader how Dorian Gray has totally lost control of himself, he has completely broken down. Dorian's own interests cause him to kill Basil Hallward; to black mail Alan Campbell; to smoke tainted opium and Sibyl Vane to commit suicide. This is the "Picture of Dorian Gray." ...read more.

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