Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

2678 WordsJan 17, 201311 Pages
Within the story, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde weaves his contradictions and inner struggles within his characters, noting self-opposition and redefining his own individual aesthetic devotion. Wilde was known to be an influencing presence in the aesthetic movement during the Victorian period, and throughout the novel he depicts the truth of his beliefs in portions beneath his characters. Dorian Gray becomes an outlet for Wilde's own vicarious pursuit of aestheticism, and is seen as who Wilde could potentially be. While Basil and Lord Henry represent portions of Wilde's actual self, highlighting the contradictions that he struggles with daily: morals versus instinctual drives of the senses. Wilde seems torn between the personalities and contradictions within his own being and forces his characters to embody various aspects of his identity. Wilde states that, "Basil Howard is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks of me: Dorian what I would like to be in other ages, perhaps" (Raby, 79), outwardly noting the conscious relationships between himself and his characters. Wilde is seen by society as relating to Lord Henry because of his preaching of aestheticism and public persona, yet outwardly admits to comparing himself mostly with Basil, who lives immorally and beautifully only in his art. Through the relationship between Basil and Lord Henry, Wilde portrays his inner battles, while Dorian Gray becomes a source for Wilde's test of aestheticism to determine whether to pursue a life or morals or instinctual desires. Wilde wrote The Picture of Dorian Gray in the nineteenth century, during the Victorian time period. He emerged throughout this century following the natural trends of the time, while also struggling with his intellectual learning of aestheticism, and his alleged homosexuality. Critic Michael Patrick Gillespie rationalized Wilde's inner

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