Dorian Gray: Fear or Corruption
In the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray, it is believed by many people that Lord Henry has corrupted Dorian Gray, but this may not be true. Many believe, that Dorian Gray hates Lord Henry because he is alone in the world. Having someone just like himself scares him; Therefore, Dorian Gray lets Lord Henry believe that he has corrupted him, but why? It is possible that Dorian Gray wants to have someone in the world like him.
Dorian Gray believes that he is alone in the world because he is a narcissist. He feels that no one understands who he is. As soon as hes at this vulnerable moment, he meets Lord Henry. Dorian Gray feels alone in the world and wants a companion who is just like him. As soon as Dorian was thinking these thoughts, Lord Henry came. This was the perfect timing and Dorian realized that Lord Henry could be his companion. Dorian is alone in the world, and that makes him become cruel to Lord Henry, when he realizes that Lord Henry is just like him. Cruelty equals loneliness, Oscar Wilde says.
As you know, the beginning of the book starts off with Basil painting a portrait of Dorian Gray and Lord Henry wanting to meet him, and eventually ends up corrupting him. This may not be the case. We can see that Dorian Gray is scared of Lord Henry from the beginning. He says, Have you really a very bad influence, Lord Henry? As bad as Basil says? (19). It seems as though Dorian Gray is intrigued in knowing if Lord Henrys influence is cruel, its as if Dorian Gray wants it to be bad, so he has a reason to be scared and to hate him. Lord Henry responds to Dorian Gray by saying, There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral immoral from the scientific point of view. (20). Lord Henry is saying that there is no such thing as bad influence, the only reason people believe this is because no matter what influence you are given, it will take you away from who you really are. With these quotes, Dorian is testing Lord Henry to see if he is just like Dorian and in the end, Dorian is happy that he has finally, found someone just like him.
Then, Lord Henry goes on to talk about temptation and continues to corrupt Dorian Gray. With this, Dorian responds with, Stop! You bewilder me. I dont know what to say ( ) Let me think. Or, rather, let me try not to think. (21). In class, we spoke about how at this point, everything Lord Henry has said, was too much for Dorian, and he does not understand anything that Lord Henry is saying. But instead, Dorian was testing Lord Henry to see if his mind thought just like Dorians. Dorian acts like he did not understand what Lord Henry says because it is all part of his plan to make Lord Henry believe that he is corrupting him. Another point in the book is when Lord Henry and Dorian Gray are discussing Sibyl Vane, Dorians part-time lover. Lord Henry says, People like you ( ) what are your actual relations with Sibyl Vane? ( ) it is only the sacred things that are worth touching. (51). To which Dorian replies, Harry! Sibyl Vane is sacred! (51). Dorian is acting like what Lord Henry just said is insane; having sex with a virgin. Lord Henry goes on to say, It is only the sacred things that are worth touching, Dorian. (51). Again, we see here that Lord Henry tries to corrupt Dorian, and Dorian allows him to do so, with the fact in mind that Dorian knew all of this already, and he continued to let Lord Henry believe that he has corrupted him.
Next, we wonder why Dorian Gray would allow Lord Henry to believe that he has corrupted him. Perhaps because he felt as if he was alone in the world. That no one understood who he was a narcissist. When Sibyl Vane dies, Dorian Gray runs to Lord Henry to confide in him. He says, “”why is it that I cannot feel this tragedy as much as I want to? I don’t think I am heartless. Do you? ( ) I don’t like that explanation, Harry, but I am glad you don’t think I am heartless. I am nothing of the kind. I know I am not. And yet I must admit that this thing that has happened does not affect me as it should. It seems to me to be simply like a wonderful ending to a wonderful play. It has all the terrible beauty of a Greek tragedy, a tragedy in which I took a great part, but by which I have not been wounded.”” (96).
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