The Portrait Of Dorian Grey | Analysis

Dorian is soon to identify of his deviance from sociable norms and makes a decision to engage himself in everlasting pleasure. "Eternal children, infinite love, pleasures refined or secret, outdoors joys and wilder sins - he was to acquire all these things" (Wilde, page 106). Seeing as age won't have any toll on his appearance, Dorian is able to pamper himself with pleasures of the flesh perpetually. As Dorian Gray's spirit grows ugly, the planet won't view him as awful because his family portrait won't allow it; hence the addition this creates to Dorian Gray's Hedonism.


"It held the secret of his life, and advised his history" (Wilde, site 92). Dorian, now in addition to Basil, both claim that the family portrait of Dorian Gray is a portal and reflection of both of their souls, and due to this they wish upon no one to acquire any kind of viewing access to the picture. The miscalculation Dorian makes with Sibyl is the first signal of the ugliness of his "soul"; the lad cannot bare to lay down eye on the portrait for it will assess him as a person and he just does not want to view that much of reality.

"The picture, transformed or unchanged, would be to him the visible emblem of conscience" (Wilde, site 92). Dorian allows his portrait to act as his conscience; in view to the fact that it explains to him if his soul if good or bad, looking as of this artwork works as frequent reminder of the should bring goodness and not evil. Your choice of returning to his love Sibyl Vane may possibly not be produced without the painting's reminder of his wrongdoing. He was hasty to do the right thing and go back to Sibyl the proposal of relationship whatever the pain she has brought after him; he previously no tolerance for the idea of his soul decaying with ugliness.

In Dorian's attempt at goodness, he had failed; Sibyl's loss of life brought death upon possible marriage between the two, and when Dorian enjoyed on his intelligence, he would realize the family portrait noticed this before he do. Regardless of the tragedy of the death, Dorian got this as a blessed chance to explore and unleash his young ones and beauty that he has been privileged to. The lad grasps the actual fact that they can please his wants and stay beautiful irrespective; the corruption of his soul has a primary correlation to the ignorance of his conscience. Dorian's realization of the fact that later years will have an effect on everyone except him, as well as the truth that the anguish of his heart will not be noticeable in his external appearance rewards him with a feeling of blissful joy.


There is a primary correlation of character and beauty when the two are intertwined showing the changes in the picture; "The quivering, ardent sunlight exhibited him the lines of cruelty round the mouth as evidently as if he had been looking into a reflection after he previously done some dreadful thing" (Wilde, web page 91), we see that cruelty and diminishing beauty have been due to Dorian's careless actions. Dorian's figure and actions are shown when confronted with the family portrait, hence Wilde's mention of the portrait as a reflection. "This portrait is always to him the most magical of mirrors. As it had unveiled to him his own body, so that it would reveal to him his own heart" (Wilde, pg. 107).

The driving power behind Dorian's want to be good is only the preserve of his beauty. "A sense of pain crept over him as he considered the desecration that was waiting for you for the reasonable face on the canvas" (Wilde, page 106). Dorian Grey is very careful with his selection of words; he never stated that he didn't want his heart to corrupt, rather be is more worried about his looks so he expresses he does not want to be hideous. The biggest fright imposed upon this character is the fact that he's terrified that folks will soon see his evil.

Applicable Connections

Taking an inside take a look at Freud's psychoanalytic theories including the id, ego and superego, allow us as the audience to better understand and interpret the protagonist's three components of the psyche.

Superego (Conscience)

According to Freud, the superego is led by the sense of right and wrong; failing to accordingly directly results in a feeling of remorse or guilt. The superego serves such as a communication device to the conscious part of one's mind, sharing its motives with the ego. Dorian Gray's conscience served as a reminder that from a moral standpoint, his living was bad. Wilde creates an emphasis on bad living and how it correlates adversely with the appearance of your respective face. It really is noticeable that Dorian shows regular disregard to the indicators of his conscience. By choosing to disregard them, Dorian Grey flips Freud's idea of the superego by a complete 180 certifications. Mr. Gray's conscience is indeed present and well, but its customary impulses with regards to the conscious mind have been sent to the family portrait that Bail colored. This is exactly what enables Dorian to plunge into his corrupt immorality.

Id (Unconscious)

Although the id works behinds the displays of the conscious mind, the affect it carries is just as great. This is actually the area of the individuals psyche that stores ones wants and acts on the pleasure seeking rule. "The sense of his own beauty arrived to him such as a revelation. He had never noticed it before" (Wilde, site 27). Dorian Gray recognizes his beauty but it was only through the compliments and flattery of Basil Hallward that he could do it. His narcissism led him to the master-puppet relationship with Lord Henry. This hunt for pleasure could not have been around without Lord Henry who is the managed of Dorian Gray's strings. The portrait of Dorian Gray itself takes on all the sins of the protagonist, giving no reason behind him to consider his conscience and therefore resulting in no dependence on the repression of the unconscious. The pleasure seeking desire is left easily for Dorian to ruin his hedonistic personal with.

Ego (Awareness)

The ego wants to maintain the limelight of both superego and the id since both are constantly struggling with which intuition should be followed by the ego. The ego is also regarded as an innate knowledge of the state of your respective soul. It is noticeable that Dorian's conscious plays a larger than normal role on his brain. For the reason that of Basil's family portrait of Dorian that the young lad can act upon every single single idea that moves through his head. "What the worm was to the corpse his sins would be to the painted image on the canvas. They mar its beauty, and eat away its grace. They would defile it, and make it shameful" (138). The lifetime of this portrait demands no need of your filter when gazing at his heart and soul and eavesdropping on his unconscious. There is no longer a responsibility of ignorance by Dorian's consciousness in conditions of his hedonistic identification. The one communication Dorian's conscience has with his heart and soul is through the painting therefore this will not stage him. The battle between your superego and id on the ego is not existence when it comes to Dorian. Not merely is Dorian mindful of the shady and dusty edges of his heart, as well as all parts of his psyche, he appears to also find ecstasy in everything. The need of the consciousness to talk to the conscience is no more essential since his painting does indeed so for him; all that is remaining for him to do is absorb it as another perk of his life. Due to the fact that the relationship between your conscience, the unconscious, and the awareness is lead astray, Dorian is given all the more reason to treat his soul just as as Lord Henry respect him, a manipulative study.

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