Changing Portrait Of Dorian Gray

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Oscar Wilde’s, Dorian Gray, is a satirical novel ridiculing the upper class of Victorian society. The comments range from their lifestyles, consisting of continuous mindless chatter at endless parties and lunches, to the acquisition of their status’, primarily through inheritence and the extortion of the lower classes. However, Wilde’s primary focus seems to be on the illusion that appearance is representative of an indivudual’s character and worth. This is represented through the character of Dorian Gray. Despite many moral flaws, Dorian is still accepted amongst the circles of highest society due to his wealth and appearance. The changing portrait of Dorian Gray is not merely representative of his soul, but also of aristocratic society’s need to maintain an image where it’s very foundation , it’s soul, is decrepid and immoral. Furthermore, the demise of Dorian invites the consideration that if society’s true image were to surface, it would not be able to survive. So, while Wilde criticizes aristoctratic Victorian society he also recognizes that it’s very survival is reliant on upholding it’s idealized, static image.…show more content…
In many instances the reader knows that he is commiting horrendous acts. However, they are not explicitly told what the acts are: Even those who had heard the most evil things agains him, and from time to time strange rumours about his mode of life crept through London and became the chatter of the clubs, could not believe anything to his dishonour when they saw him… Men who talked grossly became silent when Dorian Gray entered the room. There was something in the purity of his face that rebuked them. (Wilde 123-124) In this passage, the reader knows that Dorian is immoral, but it is represented as merely a whisper within aristocratic society. The exact “evil” acts which are the cause of rumour are unknown and

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