?“How far and in what ways do you agree with the view of Dorian Gray, the novel is heavy with moral and spiritual corruption” In this essay I am going to be disguising how the novel “The picture of Dorian Gray” is engulfed with moral and spiritual corruption. For someone to be morally corrupted it means they don’t care about what is good and bad and only focus on themselves and what will make them happy, it sometimes could involve hurting and killing people along the way.
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In this case it could be used to illustrate how Dorian Gray gave his soul to the devil in return for a life time of beauty; the devil could be Lord Henry who leads Dorian down a road of dishonesty and evilness. Furthermore, if someone is spiritually corrupted it means they have been unmasked to unethical things in society and are prone to do such things themselves.
To put this into content with the book, Dorian Gray caused moral corruption because in the 18th century it was socially unacceptable to have sex before marriage; however Dorian Gray ruined many innocent women by taking their virginity and therefore cause them to be viewed in society as “ruined”. The first addition of “The picture of Dorian Gray” left Oscar Wilde being loathed by the media because society was saying it was to explicit which caused him to write the second addition with less sinister and explicit actions occurring.
Throughout the novel Oscar Wilde uses several characters to influence Dorian Gray and transform him from a boy of purity to a man full of monstrous actions. At the beginning of the novel Dorian Gray is introduced as a young man with such beauty that he isn’t yet aware of, “I don’t want a life-sized portrait of myself. ” When Dorian says this it almost makes the read acknowledge that he is unaware of his beauty and the supercilious actions he could create.
However, this is ironic as at the end of the novel he almost views his self as a God like or prince figure, which is highlighted when Sibyl Vane refers to him as “Prince Charming” and he doesn’t correct her, which could represent how he is becoming a duplicate of Lord Henry and his narcissistic ways. Both Lord Henry and Basil are compelling characters because he almost is the spark which starts Dorian Grays life of debauchery and sinister actions; they are also the cause to him noticing his beauty and the power it can have over others.
Therefore, Oscar Wilde could of used Lord Henry and Basil as the main aspect as to why Dorian Gray changes and becomes corrupt. Furthermore, Dorian Grays mother’s maiden name is “Deuruex” the “ruex” part translates into “rotten” in French which is ironic as by the end of the novel Dorian Gray is considered as ruined or rotten. However, this links to the portrait and how the maggots start to appear, maggots have imaginary of something rotting and in this situation they could be used to highlight how Dorian’s soul is rotting away.
On the other hand, Dorian’s grandfather hated him and judges Dorian on his mother’s marriage; it is almost as if Dorian is born into a ruined family before his sinister actions even began. This could then link to how Oscar Wilde blames other people for the actions of Dorian Gray and how he is transformed into a monster from an innocent soul.
Additionally, at the start of the novel as a reader you acknowledge that Dorian gray is easily influenced: “Dorian Gray never took his gaze off him, but sat like one under a spell” The way Dorian Gray almost idolises Lord Henry is as if he looks up to him like a God, this is ironic as Dorian Gray listens to Lord Henry and learns a lot from him, he lives life as if Lord Henry controls it which causes him to get into trouble it is as if Lord Henry has immediate power and control over him.
Lord Henry is like a role model to Dorian or a father figure, normally when you have a role model, everything they do influences you the way they behave, look and act. This is ironic as later in the novel we learn that Dorian is lead down a road of sinister and evil activities by Lord Henry. It is also said that Lord Henry is a duplicate of Oscar Wilde which Wilde could of used to illustrate how he may have done something he regrets in life and used the book as a message to show how he feels remorse.
It is also said that the picture is used to illustrate Dorian Grays soul and On the other hand, Dorian becomes obsessive and controlling about the picture and he doesn’t want it to be destroyed: “It would be murder” When Dorian says this it is a significant part within the novel as it is the turning point from which Dorian Gray goes from a pure “school boy” to a soulless and evil man.
It is as if he believes if the portrait is destroyed so is a part of his youth and beauty. This is also ironic as later on in the novel we learn that although Dorian still remains beautiful and youthful the picture changes, which could suggest his soul darkening as the picture becomes more grotesque. The use of the picture becoming more sinister and monstrous could symbolise how Dorian Gray actions are causing him to behave in an immoral manor.
The way Dorian Gray turns out is partly blamed on Lord Henry and his obsession with staying young and beautiful, before Dorian met Lord Henry he wasn’t so concerned about how he looks but Lord Henry and Basil made him recognize his beauty and the importance of staying youthful. In conclusion I believe that Oscar Wilde uses characters such as Lord Henry and Basil to illustrate how they influence and control Dorian Gray