The Picture Of Dorian Gray Analysis

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“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth,” wrote Oscar Wilde, alluding to the fact that people conceal themselves by nature. When we speak of ourselves, we hide away parts of our character we do not wish to reveal, whether purposely or accidentally. Although both Wilde in his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and Edward Arlington Robinson in his poem “Richard Cory” explore the concept of the figurative masks worn to conceal parts of oneself, Robinson’s poem is about choosing to hide, while Wilde’s novel describes being forced to do the same. Both of these stories discuss the ways an individual hides from others. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian hides the literal scars on his…show more content…
The portrait physically reveals all the corrupt parts of Dorian’s soul which are usually effortlessly concealed within a person. After Dorian harshly rejected Sibyl and broke off their engagement, the portrait changed for the first time to look cruel. “There was no doubt that the whole expression had altered. It was not a mere fancy of his own. The thing was horribly apparent” (Wilde 66). The portrait shows Dorian’s cruelty plainly, putting him in the awkward position of having his wickedness displayed constantly. After Dorian murdered Basil and drove an old friend to suicide, he visited the picture for the last time. “He saw the face of his portrait leering in the sunlight . . . What was that loathsome red dew that gleamed, wet and glistening, on one of the hands, as though the canvas had sweated blood?” (Wilde 127). The portrait shows physical crimes as well as psychological ones, and anyone who came across the picture and understood that it portrayed Dorian as he truly is, could easily divine what he had done. The material evidence of the worst of Dorian’s character drives him to hide his character in a very literal way. It is difficult for Dorian to accept the picture, because anyone could happen to see his twisted soul whether or not he revealed it, and he struggles with this forced vulnerability. “‘It would not interest you, Mr. Hubbard,’ he said, keeping his eye on the man. He felt ready to leap upon him and fling him to the ground if he dared to lift the gorgeous hanging that concealed the secret of his life” (Wilde 90). Dorian hires Mr. Hubbard to move the painting up into the attic, but is very suspicious of him and even considers attacking him, even though no one except Basil and Lord Henry knows the portrait even exists much less what it truly is. “He took the lamp from the table and crept upstairs. As he

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