The violence in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” custom essay
The violence also play an important role in the famous work by Oscar Wilde “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. However, unlike the previous book, this novel rather views violence as totally unacceptable. To put it more precisely, Oscar Wilde is apparently deprived of a positive view on violence. In stark contrast, he cannot see any positive effects of violence that can be traced in “Fight Club”. In fact, the author underlines that it is only art and beauty that are worthy of attention and which are major values of human life, while violence is absolutely destructive and should be avoided by all means. At the same time, similarly to Chuck Palahniuk, Oscar Wilde attempts to show that violence is growing more and more dangerous in the course of the book.
On analyzing “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, it is necessary to emphasize that the author uses violence in order to show the extent to which the main character was wrong in his actions. To put it more precisely, at the beginning of the book, Dorian Gray is an innocent young man who seems to be extraordinary good but gradually, under the impact of his social environment, especially the impact of Lord Henry Wotton, he degrade and become a sinful man. Basically, the entire book may be viewed as a terrible transformation, a kind of metamorphosis of a good young man in an evil, if not to say monstrous creature in a human body. In fact under the negative impact of Lord Wotton and society, Dorian Gray has lost all his virtues, his character has changed dramatically. It is even possible to estimate that Dorian Gray gradually absorbed all evils and vices of the modern society (Rogers1970).
In this respect, it is extremely important to note that throughout his evolution or transformation the role of violence grows more and more important. To put it more precisely, the violence becomes more and more cruel, dangerous, destructive. By the end of the novel, it seems to be practically unimaginable that Dorian Gray used to be practically a perfect human being deprived of any vices. At the same time, he has not become a monster in a day. However, the negative changes of his character and personality are accompanied by the growing violence that may be viewed as a warning against the further degradation of the main character. Probably the first extremely significant warning was made to Dorian Gray when he rejects the love of Sibyl Vane. Moreover, his contempt and unwillingness to continue any relationship with the actress led her to the suicide. In such a way, the author shows that spiritual cruelty and moral degradation started to influence the behavior of the main character who, probably, unconsciously led his ex-beloved to the tragic death. At this point, there is no direct violence from the part of Dorian Gray.
However, his degradation is unstoppable and his behavior grows more and more violent to the extent that the most terrible crimes seem to be just a question of time. In such a situation, it seems to be quite logical that eventually he kills the artist, Basil Hallward, his only real friend who wished to preserve the original virtues of Dorian Gray. In such a way, the author shows that violence is a natural consequence of moral degradation of an individual. However, even the murder is not the worst thing that the main character of the book commits. In fact, Dorian Gray has already felt his own power, he has realized the effectiveness of violence to the extent that he uses it in his interests. This is why he forces Allan Campbell to destroy the corpse of Basil Hallward. Naturally, Allan Campbell cannot bear such a crime and he also commits a suicide and again this is the fault of Dorian Gray. Consequently, it is obvious that violence, being unpunished, grew more and more serious and, if initially it was indirect, than at the end of the novel it is a direct, hypocritical murder and well-planned actions to hide his crime. Didactically, Oscar Wilde attempts to underline that the moral degradation leading to violence that results in crimes cannot remain unchanged. This is why in an attempt to commit his final crime – to destroy his own picture – Dorian Gray kills himself.
Thus, in conclusion, it should be said that both authors pay a lot of attention to violence though Chuck Palahniuk more readily accepts violence which for a short period of time may produce a positive impact on an individual’s psychological state. However, both writers agree that violence is destructive and it always accompanies or is accompanied by the moral degradation and its consequences may be really catastrophic. Moreover, it is necessary to underline that the two literary works discussed above perfectly illustrate that violence is destructive not only for the main character, i.e. for one individual, but also for the entire society.
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