Presentation of Woman in the Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

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“My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly.”
In light of this comment, explore the presentation of woman in The Picture of Dorian Gray

In this essay I am going to be exploring how the female characters are presented in the novel. How they present themselves through behaviour and how other influential characters like Lord Henry and Dorian, present them through their descriptions. Also it’s very interesting how Oscar Wilde presents women through the narration and descriptions of the appearances and behaviours of the female characters.
In the novel, women are always represented to be inferior to men; they are lower in their status and ability. The novel barely focuses on them in general, and there are rarely any mentions of them. Firstly there aren’t any mentions of female characters at the beginning of the novel. We notice how of much less importance women are to men, when Lord Henry’s wife first meets Dorian. He’s expecting to see Henry, and when she comes in, she addresses herself as “only his wife”, [45] by calling herself ‘only’ his wife, we can tell that there isn’t really much else to her. She doesn’t address herself by her name which furthermore gives the reader the idea that she’s merely an object belonging to her husband. It seems that she has accepted her lower rank in society. In this novel marriage only seems to be a social status.
In this chapter we explore further how women are presented as objects more than equals, which was quiet normal in that time. Henry’s wife remembers Dorian as she saw him with Henry “the other night at the Opera” [46] giving the reader the idea that even though they are married, they don’t spend any time together. It’s clear that Henry was dining with Dorian and his wife was dining with someone else (unknown). This shows that women can be easily pushed back as they are of much less importance than men.
However when we first meet Sybil Vane...

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