A summer reading essay on the Picture of Dorian Gray

Essay by fitbikecoHigh School, 11th gradeA, January 2003

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People often times look scornfully upon others who are different. Why do they do this? It is the conclusion of some that jealousy is the root. Yet, at times there are legitimate repercussions for being different. Oscar Wilde, for example, was jailed for being a homosexual when he "came out of the closet." The irony in this is that the Europeans are often noted for their acceptance of different ideas, something normally not tolerated in America. The author of many acclaimed novels, including The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde was made an outcast of society. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde explores human the human psyche when it comes to dealing with being different and the enemy of old age and death, and in short almost reveals his homosexual tendency.

The book starts out with a painting, that of Dorian Gray. Upon advice from a new friend, Gray holds the painting in a position where it will remind him always of his youth.

Yet, this vain spirit is what ultimately cost Dorian his life. This painting somehow causes Dorian to have eternal youth, whereas the painting grows old. Through a few chapters that would put most people to sleep, a continuing occurrence in the book, Dorian begins to drift from society. It becomes clear that he is truly deranged and selfish. Dorian then begins to experience segregation from society in two ways. When Lord Henry pays a visit to Lord Femor, they begin to discuss Dorian's past. Lord Henry even remarks, "He is very good looking." (Wilde 35) Does this really seam a kosher subject for two men to be discussing, a man's beauty? Hardly not! Dorian is set apart by his looks, which surpass that of any other man at the time. Lord Henry even commented when talking...