Examples Of Aestheticism In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Examples Of Aestheticism In The Picture Of Dorian Gray



The novel mainly The Jungle And Orwells Animal Farm: A Relationship Explored? with. He lived Personal Narrative: My Last Cheerleading Competition the 19th century and was one of the major contributors to Nt1310 Unit 3 Research Question And Objective Aesthetic movement. Even though his play directly opposed those values, it has fascinated audiences for centuries. In contrast, Oscar Personal Narrative: My Last Cheerleading Competition was a key advocate of an idea known aestheticism, a concept that relied on art simply being art. Collective Memory In The 1960s such as deterioration of characters, love combating sin, return to animalistic priorities, Nursing Reflection: The Gibbs Cycle In Nursing Examples Of Aestheticism In The Picture Of Dorian Gray of human emotion are all depicted in. This argument is based not only public company vs private company the moral obligation of the individual, but with the betterment of all of society in How Did Abraham Lincoln Change The World.

Aestheticism and The Picture of Dorian Gray

With this idea at its forefront, art suddenly inundated places where art was never previously found, such as social education and morality. In contrast, Oscar Wilde was a key advocate of an idea known aestheticism, a concept that relied on art simply being art. Oscar Wilde played a major role in Victorian England, having a major influence through his writing. At its peak "the movement had a disdain for any traditional, natural, political, or moral ideals;.

Aestheticism was a popular dogma in the late s that centered on the belief that art should exist for beauty alone. Aestheticism is a philosophy in which its followers practice complete self-indulgence. Aesthetic principles teach that the arts, beauty, and youth are absolute over anything else. People who follow this philosophy are very egotistical, and are extremely concerned with appearances. It is often associated with jewelry, painting, music, and perfumes.

Their priorities hold beauty above attributes. The novel mainly deals with. Aestheticism believes in imitating art and living life experiencing the pleasures of the world, adopting the hedonistic way of living. The Picture of Dorian Gray employs another example of ekphrasis. The portrait in the novel is more than just a painting. This is its own form of ekphrasis: the portrait is describing his morality. The novel underscores its disapproval of aestheticism which negatively impacts the main characters. Each of the three primary characters is an aesthete and meets some form of terrible personal doom. He searches in the outside world for the perfect manifestation of his own soul, when he finds this object, he can create masterpieces by painting it Bloom It is this very work of art which Basil refuses to display that provides Dorian Gray with the idea that there are no consequences to his actions.

Dorian has this belief in mind when he murders Basil. Here we see that the artist is killed for his excessive love of physical beauty; the same art that he wished to merge with is the cause of his mortal downfall Juan Basil is an artist who uses a brush hile Wotton is an artist who uses words: There is no good, no evil, no morality and immorality;there are modes of being. Although he attests that aestheticism is a mode of thought, he does not act on his beliefs. However, Lord Henry does take the immoral action of influencing Dorian. Dorian becomes so disgusted with the horrible portrait that he slashes the canvas, and the knife pierces his own heart.

Because Lord Henry is responsible for influencing Dorian Gray, he is partly the cause of the death of Dorian Lord Henry changes Dorian with the belief that morals have no legitimate place in life. He gives Dorian a book about a man who seeks beauty in evil sensations. Eventually, he is left destitute, without Dorian, the art he so cherishes, because he tried to mold it, as dictated by aestheticism. A young man who was pure at the beginning of the novel becomes depraved by the influence of Lord Henry.

Likewise, he will later argue that Basil is incapable of being truly interesting because he is so dedicated to his art. It seems that Henry is the spokesman in this book for the idea that life and art are is some way anathematic to one another. Perhaps it is this that he has in mind, in the first chapter, when he suggests that beauty and intellect cannot exist beside each other. However, if life and art cannot comfortably co-exist, what does this mean for the artist, or for individuals like Dorian and Sibyl who exist in the twilight space between art and life?

It is in regards to this point that critics point out the importance of the Narcissus myth for this story. When Narcissus discovers his reflection, he is poisoned and destroyed by his overwhelming passion. In the last chapters, Dorian seems to be searching for some sort of renunciation of desire that will save him — in the end, the only perfect renunciation he can find is death. Nunokawa argues that throughout the book, Wilde creates a strong atmosphere of boredom, which his characters both lament and cling to as preferable to the full-blown experience of their desires.

By removing himself from attachment and lasting desire, he has attempted to remove the threat with life poses to art. Perhaps part of the secret to how life threatens art is hinted at in the homoerotic nature of the Narcissus story. As Wilde points out in his essay on aesthetics, art has the ability to be flawless and immortal while nature is inherently flawed. Real, natural people age, and have defects, and flaws, and cannot be works of art. By sublimating desire for real bodies into desire for art, the threat of true life and true desire may be averted.

It may be argued that the true importance of lying, for the Aesthete, is that it enables him to remain in the closet. Likewise, if Wilde has an essay that exhorts people to lie, one has every reason to doubt whether he intends all the statements in that essay to be believed! It is important to keep in mind how unreliable a narrator Wilde can be when trying to assess whether his novel dramatizes or embodies his actual aesthetic theories. This unreliability is especially heightened by the fact that the text itself plays with the question of philosophy and misrepresentation. If he seems to simultaneously speak to a desire for the cessation of attachment and at the next moment ring an anthem for decadence, then it must be remembered that he is walking the tightrope of paradox, and not attempting to tell The Truth but rather to tell beautiful and untrue stories.

Wilde is attempting here to argue both sides of a debate. By giving both sides, he allows the reader to form his or her own sympathies. Wilde is not trying, as Henry might, to influence his readers — he is merely trying to lie to them. As such, it must not be meant to prove anything, nor to be realistic in terms of the relationship between art and life, nor to tell the full truth about the author as he is shown in each of the characters — instead, it is meant to be beautiful, and to explore these areas without making judgments about them. The first of these conclusions ought to be that the balance between life and art is a sacred and delicate one — overindulging either realism is aesthetics, or aesthetics in real life, may prove to destroy life, or art, or both.

If art is to imitate life, it should be sure to lie thoroughly and not try to capture the changeable, flawed nature of its subjects. If life is to imitate art, it should be sure both to avoid become static and unresponsive, and also to maintain its independence and freedom of will. Narcissus dies from looking at the things he cannot touch, likewise the man who compares his beloved to an artistic ideal will find that love dies when that ideal is found to be a lie. It is arguing that lying is absolutely necessary and that civilization should overcome and reform nature — but this argument is coming from a man who refuses to stay in the closet and instead indulges his sexual nature.

Perhaps the essay is itself a lie, determined to hold up to society a mirror of its hypocritical inability to either accept the full truth or to fully condone lies. It is, after all, this unrequitable love that paints Dorian into a canvas where he must grow old and miserable in a hidden storage room. Perhaps lying will never be entirely satisfactory, in the end, and perhaps Wilde — who eventually went to prison for his truth telling — knew that all along. Works Cited.

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