Discuss the Ways in Which Wilde Presents the Theme of Transformation in Dorian Grey

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Discuss the ways in which Wilde presents Dorian’s transformation in Chapters 1-8 of ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ By Charlotte Murdoch Wilde is very much famous for his original and extraordinary sense of language, and in Dorian Grey the reader is very much aware of this, and this helps further the sense of Dorian’s transformation throughout this novel. One aspect of this is his characterisation of different parts of London, emoting different feelings and senses in the reader, which create very different and atmospheric moods. As Dorian moves from one distinct area to the next, Wilde is excellent at drawing distinct descriptions to make scenes appear certain ways, almost as if he were “setting the scene” for a play. Dorian describes walking in the East End, in Chapter 4, as “labyrinth of grimy streets and black, grassless squares”, and the theatre where he discovers Sybil as “absurd” with “gaudy play-bills”. He there meets a “hideous” Jew, smoking a “vile” cigar. These adjectives make a sinister, dark and gloomy atmosphere. P. 49 The way these descriptions show negative connotations of the West End link and parallel with the change of character, further help demonstrate the transformation Dorian has throughout these chapters. Also the increase of amounts of time Dorian visits the West End shows the literal affect Dorian’s own choices and lifestyle have on himself, the poorer, grimier and more dangerous areas of London could represent Dorian’s current state of mind. Another literary device Wilde uses to portray Dorian’s transformation is form. Each chapter mentions Dorian more and more, and although in Chapter 1 and 2 he seems to be centre of the discussion, Dorian is only mentioned in Chapter 1, yet not introduced. Wilde is unusual in the way he builds up tension in this novel, as normally is it known that the tension or central theme appears at least half way
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