Dorian Gray

In: English and Literature

Submitted By nishani03
Words 3258
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Sparknotes – Dorian Gray

• Written by Oscar Wilde in 1890.
• Devoted to a school of thought and a mode of sensibility known as aestheticism, Wilde believed that art possesses an intrinsic value—that it is beautiful and therefore has worth, and thus needs serve no other purpose, be it moral or political.
• Dorian is a cultured, wealthy, and impossibly beautiful young man who immediately captures Basil’s artistic imagination
• Although Lord Henry is a self-proclaimed hedonist who advocates the equal pursuit of both moral and immoral experience, he lives a rather staid life.
• The Victorians believed that art could be used as a tool for social education and moral enlightenment, as illustrated in works by writers such as Charles Dickens and George Gissing. The aestheticism movement, of which Wilde was a major proponent, sought to free art from this responsibility.
• “We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us.”
• The Picture of Dorian Gray has often been compared to the famous German legend of Faust. The legend tells of a learned doctor who sells his soul to the devil in return for knowledge and magical abilities. Although Dorian Gray never contracts with the devil, his sacrifice is similar: he trades his soul for the luxury of eternal youth.
• He is the last Lord Kelso's grandson. His mother was a Devereux, Lady Margaret Devereaux. Poor chap was killed in a duel at Spa a few months after the marriage. They said Kelso got some rascally adventurer, some Belgian brute, to insult his son-in-law in public. He brought his daughter back with him, I was told, and she never spoke to him again. The girl died, too, died within a year.
• Lord Henry insists that “no life is spoiled but one whose growth is arrested.”
• Dorian enters, and he relates the story of his engagement, which was precipitated by his…...

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