The Picture Of Dorian Gray Marxist Analysis

1110 Words5 Pages
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel which explores many aspects of the late nineteenth century London society. One particular aspect that the novel focuses on is the inequality between the different classes. Wilde focuses on the extremes of society, with characters from the aristocracy, such as Lord Henry, and contrasting these with the poverty of the Vane family. Throughout the novel Wilde demonstrates how the upper classes, the bourgeoisie, oppress and exploit the lower classes, the proletariat. When analysing the novel using a Marxist theory, the novel develops a stronger moral message for the readers, asking them to reflect on how the rich manipulate those of inferior status. The relationship between the characters emphasises class…show more content…
This can be compared to the view of Marx that the oppression of the poor in a capitalist society will eventually lead to a revolution. James Vane can be seen as revolting against society in his desire to see that Dorian pays for his mistreatment of Sybil. However, although James has a significant impact towards the end of the novel on Dorian's behaviour, causing him to become fearful for his life (p.158), his untimely death (p.160) resulted in his revenge never being enacted. There could be two messages that Wilde was trying to portray in this: the first; that he wanted the reader to reflect, morally, on the unfairness that Dorian was never punished for Sybil's death, and secondly; the philosophical opinion that perhaps the proletariat will come close to overthrowing capitalism but they will never quite succeed. The setting of the novel is crucial when interpreting the inequalities between the different characters. Wilde set the novel in the late nineteenth century, which was a similar time to when he was writing. Wilde was primarily a playwright, with The Picture of Dorian Gray being his only attributed novel, and one of his favourite themes was a satirical look at the social interactions of the London aristocracy. Wilde focuses on the contrasts between the different classes as is demonstrated when Dorian says, "this grey, monstrous London of ours, with its myriads of people"

    More about The Picture Of Dorian Gray Marxist Analysis

      Open Document