The Picture of Dorian Gray

1349 Words6 Pages
Whether we realize it or not, many people influence our lives, shaping the way we act, talk, and even think. People can affect others in many positive ways; however, they can also corrupt the people around them. One such influential character is Lord Henry Wotton of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray." His charismatic nature draws everyone, including Dorian, At the beginning of the novel, a friend of the two men, Basil Hallward, paints an exquisite portrait of Dorian, a young man with incredibly features. Dorian and Henry first meet in Basil's study, and from then on, Dorian is never the same innocent child he previously was. Lord Henry Wotton creates a conflict with the naïve and innocent Dorian Gray by influencing and mentally corrupting him. Under this influence, *Dorian becomes a hedonist, constantly pursuing pleasure and everlasting beauty. This one-way conflict, where Lord Henry almost completely controls Dorian's emotions, is the cause for Dorian's downfall and death. *Lord Henry, who enjoys manipulating people to calm his hedonist feelings, imposing him by his radical, yet catchy theories of life. In the beginning of the book, when he meets Dorian, he tells him "[An influenced person's] virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for." (20) The irony of Lord Henry saying this, is that he will eventually corrupt Dorian. He tells him this, but Dorian does not pay attention to the warning, and wants to hear more of Lord Henry's addicting sayings. Harry's theories act like a slow poison: They get into you, start reacting, and slowly but surely, they destroy you. Dorian, who enters the novel as an almost
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