The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Essay by kj99999College, UndergraduateA, March 2006

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There is almost nothing clear in our world these days. People try to hide everything that is not wanted from the eyes of the world. They are careful about not showing their real character, their nature, their secrets, and their sins. They do not want others to get to really know them and they often pretend to be someone else. The great artist is able to bring the things we are not able to see in the reality to his art. It is the art that can show the real face much better than the mirror can reflect it.

1. I consider Oscar Wilde's work The Picture of Dorian Gray to be a great example of how powerful, effective and influential the art can be. In this book it is the painter Basil Hallward, who made a Dorian's portrait so perfect like the reflection of him in the mirror. Later in the book the portrait changed and Dorian found out that it showed something that could never be seen in the mirror. It showed his soul and soul is something that mirror can not reflect; it is something that you don't even get to see face to face with a person. ...he himself would creep upstairs to the locked room, open the door with the key that never left him now, and stand, with a mirror, in front of the portrait that Basil Hallward had painted of him, looking now at the evil and ageing face on the canvas, and now at the fair young face that laughed back at him from the polished glass (103). Mirror only caught his outside, it reflected his young beautiful face, but the picture showed his inside, his deepest hidden sins. As it usually happens people are not able to judge...