The Picture of Dorian Gray. Considering Lord Henrys views, what have we learnt about the theme of youth and beauty?

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Kiranpreet Johal 12D

Considering Lord Henry’s views, what have we learnt about the theme of youth and beauty?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published novel by Oscar Wilder, it is a dramatic story of a beautiful young man, Dorian Gray, who keeps his good looks while his portrait reflect its subjects vice and degradation. The extract under consideration begins in Basil’s studio, where the artist finishes the portrait of Dorian Gray. When Dorian looks at the painting he is quite impressed as if he sees himself for the first time. He first recognizes the extraordinary beauty and youth in the portrait and then is pained by the thought of losing it. Dorian envies the figure in the painting saying that “he would give his soul to be young forever” as the painting will be. Influenced by Lord Henry’s words on youth and beauty, he is terrified of aging. He fears that he will lose everything when he loses his good looks. Impulsively vowing that he will kill himself when he grows old, he repeats his wish that the portrait might age while he remains young. Basil accuses Lord Henry of causing all this, but Lord Henry says that he has merely brought forth the true Dorian. Basil Decides to destroy the portrait rather than have it upset their lives, but Dorian stops him. “It would be murder,” Dorian says.

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Lord Henry forgives someone for acting badly because they are beautiful this is when Lord Henry assures Dorian that his Aunt Agatha could not possible stay mad at him because she is so smitten with his beauty. It is possible to see evil in a beautiful face however Lord Henry’s first impression of him is that he looks so good and pure, “all the candour of youth was there, as well as youth’s passionate purity”. Due to this Lord Henry is not surprised that Basil has such affection for Dorian as he loves to paint Dorian as a subject. From ...

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