Dorian Gray Character Analysis

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Wilde uses the climax of the novel to have a turning point in Dorian’s character, with Lord Henry manipulating him into having an evil attitude that he had no part in the death of Sibyl Vane. Wilde presents Dorian as crying out “murdered her as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife” displaying quite a forlorn, heart-rending display to Vane. The violent and morbid metaphor only emphasising how deeply guilty and grieved he feels about her death. However, further on, Wilde reflects Dorian as completely eradicating this feeling of pity by claiming “She had no right to kill herself. It was selfish of her.” which to a modern reader is almost amusing of how narcissistic Dorian could be. Wilde is mocking the apathy of the aristocracy…show more content…
Wilde conveys this emotional plead through his “wild longing for the unstained purity of his boyhood”. The irony in this is that Dorian has kept his youthful appearance yet the impact Henry has forced him to feel twisted and withered. Wilde reflects it as a deep desire, almost like an addiction, that he yearns to satisfy. Wilde is continuing the symbolism that Henry is the typical form of the aristocracy, being pretentious and shallow while involving himself in self-absorbing activities. Dorian conflicts this perception of human nature by defining his disposition through sensibility and against the Darwinistic ideal that we are oriented to reproductive success which was so prevalent in many Victorian novels at the time. This conflicting perceptions of human nature leads Henry to dominate Dorian’s, leading to a tainted soul that seals its fate by the end of the novel. As Rebecca Mitchell has revealed is that Wilde and other artists of the time had a fascination of the Victorian’s “inability to escape solipsism”. Wilde is conveying ideas before his time, going into the depths of human nature unlike conservative writers of his time, moulding his characters in reformed ideals. This idea is demonstrated in Henry’s apathy towards Dorian’s redemption through the imperative “You laugh. Don’t laugh”. This dramatic shift in tone from their previous conversation reflects how damaging Henry’s vicious engraving rhetorics have been on Dorian over the course of their

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