Oscar Wilde self love Dorian Gray

Essay by AFreakinApple November 2014

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How does Oscar Wilde explore self-love in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'?

Oscar Wilde explores many different types of love within his novel. The most notable form shown is self-love; this is the most apparent form due to the blatant narcissism and conceit shown by the main character Dorian and others within the book. Dorian's aesthetic beauty is expressed very early on in the book "clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty", it was necessary for Wilde to do this early on as it is one of the most important facets of Dorian's character and is the object of everyone's, including his owns, fascination. It does not take long for Dorian's arrogance to shine through as he talks to Basil about his conversation with Henry, "He has certainly not been paying me compliments Perhaps that is the reason that I don't believe anything he has told me", Dorian feels that with a face like his he is deserving of praise and adulation and when Henry denies him he is openly disdainful and rude about it.

His opinion of Henry improves as soon as he gets his much-desired compliment, " "You are a wonderful creation." He could not help liking the man who was standing by him" Dorian's ego is stoked by Henry and Wilde makes sure the reader knows this. Dorian's narcissism grows exponentially next to his relationship with Henry.

Henry leads a life of hedonism and luxury and he sees Dorian as apiece of art, he lavishes him with compliments and flattery and the result of this is Dorian's inflated opinion of himself. This all comes to a head with his actions with Sybil Vane. Sybil Vane is the actress who Dorian falls in love with who...