Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dorian's Character

      In the Picture of Dorian Gray, I believe that Dorian's character remains static during the course of the novel and that, as the story progresses, more disturbing details are revealed to the reader. Socratic Seminar question 11 states, "Did Dorian's character change, or was it just merely truly revealed, by the end of the novel? Was dorian really the naive, young man that Basil portrayed in Chapter 1, or was it just Basil's obsession with Dorian that made him see him in that light? Did Dorian's character really change, or was it just his true personality surfacing throughout the book?"
      While we know that Lord Henry had a huge impact on Dorian at the beginning of the novel and proved to be a bad influence throughout, it is obvious that Dorian's subconscious was tainted with evil even before he is introduced. Because Dorian so willingly embraced Lord Henry's personality, ideas, and interests, the reader can assume that Dorian's character was always flawed. However, the progression from the 'innocent' young man to the evil older man was fairly steady, as shown in his portrait. Wilde shows Dorian's character flaws as his portrait becomes increasingly grotesque and by the events in the story such as rumors and hateful acts committed by Dorian, himself.
      This was fairly easy for me to pick up on because, and I won't use names, I used to have a friend that I was really close with. While I could recognize her flaws, I did not dwell on them or even really acknowledge them because I loved this person and these flaws didn't matter to me. However, as I started pulling myself away from this friend for personal reasons that were beneficial for me, I began to see how much I disliked this person. It was hard for me to understand how I could have felt so attached and affectionate toward them for so long when they had such obvious issues. I realized that they had had these flaws for as long as I'd known them and it surprised me when I discovered this. I feel as though Basil would have felt the same way as me when he discovered Dorian's imperfections and evil-doings.

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