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A Picture of Dorian Gray

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 48.8 
  • Words: 783
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Oscar Wilde, author of The Picture of Dorian Gray, makes Basil's lifechangedrastically by having him paint a portrait of Dorian Gray and expresstoo much of himselfin it, which, in Wilde's mind, is a troublesome obstacle to circumvent. Wilde believesthat the artist should not portray any of himself in his work, so whenBasil does this, it ishe who creates his own downfall, not Dorian.         Wilde introduces Basil to Dorian when Basil begins to notice Dorianstaring athim at a party.   Basil "suddenly became conscious that someone waslooking at [him]. [He] turned halfway around and saw Dorian Gray for the first time"(Wilde 24).   Basilimmediately notices him, however Basil is afraid to talk to him.   Hisreason for this isthat he does "not want any external influence in [his] life" (Wilde24).   This is almost aparadox in that it is eventually his own internal influence thatdestroys him.   Wilde doesthis many times throughout the book.   He loved using paradoxes and thatis why LordHenry, the character most similar to Wilde, is quoted as being called"Price Paradox." Although Dorian and Basil end up hating each other, they do enjoymeeting each otherfor the first time.   Basil finds something different about Dorian.   Hesees him in adifferent way than he sees other men.   Dorian is not only beautiful toBasil, but he is alsogentle and kind.   This is when Basil falls in love with him and beginsto paint the picture.         Basil begins painting the picture, but does not tell anyone about it,includingDorian, because he knows that there is too much of himself in it.   LordHenry discoversthe painting and asks Basil why he will not display it.   Lord Henrythinks that it is sobeautiful it should be displayed in a museum.   Basil argues that thereason he will notdisplay the painting is because he is "afraid that [he] has shown in itthe secret of his soul" (Wilde 23).   This is another paradox because hehas not only shown the secret ofhis soul, but the painting eventually comes to show the...


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