“ The Picture of Dorian Gray ” , Oscar Wilde ‘s merely fresh, appeared for the first clip as a novelette in “ Lippincott ‘s Monthly Magazine ” in 1890. At the minute when the novel was foremost published, the response was nil but negative. Many newspapers and literary magazines criticised the novel naming it immoral. The St. James Gazette referred to it as the “ refuse of the Gallic Decadence ” while the Daily Chronicle called it a “ toxicant book ” .
The novel is preceded by a foreword on which Oscar Wilde applied his aesthetic theories sing art which are besides presented from Basil ‘s point of position in the first chapter. Art is beautiful, perfect, possesses signifier and is well-shaped whereas life is ugly, progressive, without form.
The book tells the narrative of Dorian Gray, a immature adult male who decides to do a Faustian deal in order to derive and continue ageless beauty. The book exposes many major subjects and symbols. As a consequence, The Picture of Dorian Gray can be interpreted as authoritative Gothic horror fiction in which the reader can easy descry the Narcissus myth and aesthetic subject of fraudulence, a major subject in Gothic novels, known as the Doppelganger subject.
Dorian Gray, the supporter of the book is presented in the first chapter as “ a immature adult male of extraordinary personal beauty ” . Both Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotton regard him as a naA?ve adult male, unspoiled by wickednesss and failure. The image as it is presented in the first chapter reveals Dorian ‘s first and true image: he is immature, fine-looking, and guiltless, without discoloration. But Dorian Gray will non stay this manner throughout the novel. He will alter and non in a positive manner. This is where the writer brings to illume the fraudulence subject.
Dorian from the terminal of this chapter is no longer Dorian from the beginning. The reader faces in merely a few pages Dorian ‘s passage. His naivete and his pureness disappear when he realises the importance of his beauty and the fact that he will lose it someday. Henry Wotton manipulates his head and turns him into a individual ready to sell his psyche in order to continue his beauty. Not merely does he bury about his friend, Basil, but he changes his nature. In the minute when he sees the portrayal, he is every bit fascinated by himself as Basil is and acts every bit if this is the first clip when he sees himself. This transition comes similar to the minute when Narcissus sees his contemplation in the H2O for the first clip and brings the thought of idiolatry which will eventually take to suicide. Infatuated with himself, Dorian becomes a Machiavellian individual, desiring to continue the minute, no affair the costs.
While a beautiful forever-young adult male in his public life, Dorian is presented as a debauched, violent, homicidal individual who lives guided by a book given by his friend Henry Wotton and approaches life in the most hedonic manner possible.
The pragmatism of the novel is depicted from Wilde ‘s representation of the Victorian universe. Dorian is after all, an blue blood life in a rich universe where dines and opera are something common. His first ego, the one everyone knows, the one Basil has painted at the beginning of the novel is the one life in this universe. He is a rich art cognoscente ; he likes parties and tiffins and attends theaters and opera. The Victorian society presented in the novel is one where people live from undeserved heritage and bask gossipmongering and judging the universe about. Dorian lives a secret life within an seemingly respectable society.
From the minute when he sees the portrayal, he begins to alter. He follows Henry ‘s thoughts of the new hedonism, of the aesthetic motion and starts populating his life consequently, while Henry says that Dorian is for him, an experiment on which he applies his theories. Art is presented in contrast with life. Lord Henry advises Dorian to populate his life as if it were a signifier of art. He tells him to look at Sybil ‘s decease as if he were a member of the audience of a drama, detached, without transporting. He even falls in love with Sybil ‘s characters, with her reading, non with her.
Dorian loses his artlessness but, despite the fact that his psyche is endlessly intensifying into the negative manner of life, he is admired for his beauty and intelligence, for his endowments and dramas with people ‘s head doing them believe that his visual aspects are similar to his inner ego. This outer ego, the 1 he displays in forepart of anyone is in entire resistance to the inner ego which he prefers to cover. When he discovers that what he wished for became true, Dorian decides to conceal his true nature and locks the portrayal in the Attic so as no 1 should see the image of his psyche.
In order to build the other ego, Oscar Wilde refers to gothic imagination. He creates the cardinal component, the image and develops its image as the one of different character of the book. The first Gothic component of the book is the Faustian Theme. Dorian unconsciously sells his psyche to the Satan in order to obtain ageless young person and beauty. Henry Wotton plays the portion of Satan ‘s advocator, Satan ‘s representative without even cognizing in. He inspires Dorian to do the fatal want: the pigment should age alternatively of him. The fact that the portrayal ages in Dorian ‘s position can non be logically explained, therefore it is the supernatural component which lead to the development of the secret plan. From the really get downing presented as a antic component, the image represents the incarnation of Dorian ‘s other ego. His wickednesss, his errors and his true nature are revealed on the canvas. Knowing that, Dorian wants to protect his true image, wants to conceal it. Although he is cognizant of the fact that his psyche is dark and stained with wickednesss, he continues to populate as earlier because he thinks he can no longer be forgiven and his psyche saved.
The minutes when Dorian is possessed by his other ego, abound with Gothic elements. The scene of the slaying is presented in a dark ambiance with the lap casting shadows on the wall and the blowing air current. Dorian putting to deaths Basil merely after he looks at the portrayal and seems to be captivated by something concealing beneath the canvas. Violence interruptions through and he stabs the painter without any sense of compunction. The manner in which he decides to do the organic structure disappear is a consequence of his mad self-importance that seems to hold no feelings and to be wholly detached from the realist life. Science is here presented it its negative portion. With scientific discipline, Dorian finalises the slaying, doing the grounds disappear everlastingly.
His other psyche has become a malicious and manipulative individual who has no feelings and dedicates his life to the new hedonism. He confides in the book Henry gives him and takes it for granted, as a manner of life. It is a toxicant book, symbol of his debauched life. Furthermore, the Gothic atmosphere is once more brought in frontline when Dorian visits the opium lair. The lair is a topographic point of lost psyches where Dorian finds comfort because he suffers non merely physical but besides mental. Here, he “ cures his psyche by agencies of senses ” . This topographic point is the contemplation of Dorian ‘s province of head.
The ambiance in the following chapter is wholly different from the one in the old. The life at the countryside seems idyllic but Dorian is uncomfortable here because he feels he is stalked by James Vane and he shortly finds out that he was so following him because James ‘s cadaver was found lying in a shrub. James ‘ presence is like a shade haunting Dorian throughout the novel, he is the incarnation of Dorian ‘s scruples which is unable to kill him because is non every bit powerful as he is.
At the terminal of the novel, Dorian is still incapable of looking for absolution. He is still proud and has non changed at all. He learns that Alan Campbell has committed self-destruction and for a minute blames himself for this. Feeling compunction for the decease of his psyche, Dorian goes into the Attic to look at the portrayal. He dismisses his offenses stating that the decease of Basil was inevitable and Alan ‘s was his ain will, he can non be blamed for it. He is unable to deliver his psyche because he is incapable of acknowledging his wickednesss. Worrying that his offenses might be discovered, he decides to destruct it. He stabs the image with the same knife he killed Basil but, alternatively of the portrayal, he is the 1 who dies. His retainers find in the Attic an old and ugly adult male while the portrayal pictures a immature and beautiful Dorian Gray. In the terminal, Dorian is unable to deceive clip ; clip has its manner and defeats him.
Oscar Wilde reveals in this novel the fact that behind beauty can be something evil, and that people should non allow themselves guided by the visual aspects, so as Dorian Gray says aˆzeach of us has Heaven and Hell in him ” .