Essay on The Creation of Dorian Gray

Submitted By gasp42285
Words: 1017
Pages: 5

The Creation of Dorian Gray In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, a young man is pressed into a mold by moral and physiological influence by two characters. This constant assault by Lord Henry Wotton and Basil Hallward will ultimately be decided in the mind of Dorian Gray. These attacks give Dorian no option on which he is a person, even though in the end, his actions are his sole decision and reflect his individual character not the character of others. Early in the novel Dorian already has an established relationship as a subject in the paintings of the artist Basil Hallward. With much hesitation Basil is forced to introduce the young, attractive Dorian to his good friend and polar opposite, Lord Henry Wotton. Basil has reasonable concerns for not wanting to introduce the two characters; he is worried that Lord Henry will have a negative influence on Dorian. This hesitation by Basil encourages Dorain to question the influence that he is about to engage in.
With or without intention, Lord Henry replies, “there is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral-immoral from the scientific point of view” (Wilde 13) I believe for as smart as a man as Lord Henry is this statement without a doubt intended to begin the infatuation Dorian Gray will begin to develop for Lord Henry. The quote also gives a strong foundation of the type of character Lord Henry poses and will also pass onto his new apprentice Dorian Gray. The scientific insertion of the statement demonstrates the lack outward thoughts he lives by. This is given by observing the vast stereotypical difference between a “religious” individual and a “scientific” individual and how they act in society during the time of the novel. This new found self-interest and desire of pleasure that Dorian Gray has received immediately takes into effect. He immediately wishes to maintain his youth that both of the influential characters are mesmerized by and accuses Basil of only liking him for his good looks not as a friend (Wilde 19). Dorian has never shown this desire prior to his acquaintance with Lord Henry. It even severs the bond between the subject and the artist and what relationship that may be there. Even though Basil pleads that his objects are worthless, his friendship is what is most important with Dorian, it is no help. The actions of Basil begin to build that character of Basil and what we can expect of him. He does care for Dorian and his best interest. Dorian is also influenced by the morals of Henry and Basil, “the views of Basil and Henry can be understood in terms of the relationship between their theory of cosmic justice and their concept of morality” (Liebman) There is a clear separation of these two characters and how they live their life. Basil is an artist, who shows signs of religious belief, and he desires to inspire others with his artwork. Henry is the opposite of Basil’s description, he is a cynical individual, constantly in the pursuit of self-gratification with pleasure, and will take advantage of other people to achieve these beliefs. Throughout the novel Basil shows his constant moral position on his disappointment for Dorian’s actions. Sybal, the love of Dorian’s life and the only other sign of good, is possibly killed. Basil observes in disbelief the ability of Dorian to not have on thought of remorse and delivers no emotions to the situation. As of as Basil tries to help Dorian it seems to be a lost cause. To have the love of your life die and then to claim her actions have no meaning is inhumane. This clearly shows the withdrawal of emotions with an important event. Basil also questions Dorian how he cannot be concerned with his good name (Liebman). Again Basil looking out for Dorian, he questions him on rumors that he hears and refuses to believe. Any influential or even non-influential member of society care how they are perceived by the