The Supremacy Of Beauty And Youth In The Picture Of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

The perception of beauty is subjective; it either blooms from the inside or ages from the outside. In the melancholic novel, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde, it portrays a narcissistic protagonist who is dependent on his physical appearance to deceive those who are foolish enough to believe his facade. The fictional novel exemplifies the faults of valuing physical beauty and disregarding one’s conscience. The supremacy of beauty and youth depicted in this novel is one of the themes that fuels the downfall of the protagonist; it establishes the purpose that one’s conscience is a guide to morality.

To begin with, the subject of aesthetic beauty and the obsession of youth is evident throughout the book. “We degenerate into hideous puppets, … and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world by youth!”. Lord Henry, the culprit who poisoned the mind of Dorian Gray, exclaims to the lad how youth is ephemeral and how indulging in sinful pleasures, and neglecting one’s conscience leads a life with fewer regrets. Thus, Lord Henry’s statement is structured to cause Dorian Gray to be exposed to the theory of Hedonism to which he abides by. For the purpose of, this specific excerpt of the novel incorporates the theme because it explicitly states how Lord Henry values beauty and youth to the point he advises Dorian to self-indulge to his pleasures and throw away his conscience – all because Dorian carries a beautiful face, a lethal weapon to excuse any wrongdoings and sins if committed.

Subsequently, the main character is heavily influenced by the theory of Hedonism to the extent that he uses his ravishing appearance as an excuse to undertake misdemeanors; however, Dorian’s sins and crimes are reflected in the self-portrait that Basil Hallward painted. “…upon the canvas was growing old. It might escape the hideousness of sin, but the hideousness of age was in store for it.” To further explain, in the beginning of the novel the portrait of Dorian Gray was the embodiment of utter innocence but when he was introduced to the practice of Hedonism – his countless misdeeds mirrored the tarnishing portrait. With this text, Wilde exposes to his readers how the deteriorating portrait is representing the monster Dorian Gray became. In the event that, the brief text conveys how effortless it is to conceal the ugliness of committing wrongdoings because of having a good appearance; it relates to the theme by disclosing the absence of his conscience and the advantage of having exquisite facial aspects .

Lastly, the subject of supremacy of beauty and youth is deliberately expressed in the pages of Oscar Wilde’s novel; for the sole purpose of emphasizing how retaining one’s beauty can be key that leads them to their own damnation. “It was his beauty that had remind him, his beauty and the youth that he had prayed for.” Dorain Gray’s beauty corrupted him and transformed him into a soulless creature that delights himself in his aesthetic qualities. The snippet, taken from a passage of the book, is built to reveal how the main character highly values his beauteous appearance above everything. Moreover, the text shows how soulless and shallow he became to pray for nothing more but eternal beauty and youth. To add on, the particular statement supports the idea of the superiority of physical attractiveness because it clearly discloses how the two characteristics are being highly valued and prayed for. For, it unveils the ugly truth that society is so immersed in the study of beautiful things and individuals are easily fooled to an individual that carries good facial attributes instead of focusing on their inner beauty. All things considered, the supremacy of beauty and youth is thoroughly illustrated in the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde warns that ruination is an inevitable result of having a hedonistic lifestyle and cherishing one’s youth and beauty.


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