Dorian Gray Context

Anna Stevens
Mind Map by Anna Stevens, updated more than 1 year ago
Anna Stevens
Created by Anna Stevens about 4 years ago
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AS - Level English Literature (A Picture of Dorian Gray) Mind Map on Dorian Gray Context, created by Anna Stevens on 02/26/2016.

Resource summary

Dorian Gray Context
1 Oscar Wilde's Biography
1.1 Greek & Roman studies
1.2 Lived with friend Frank Miles, popular portraitist among London's high society
1.3 Married a wealthy woman, Constance Lloyd
1.4 Established himself as a leading proponent of the aesthetic movement
1.4.1 1891 published 'Intentions', essay collection arguing the tenets of aestheticism
1.4.1.1 Dorian Gray Preface: "All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, not life, that art really mirrors. Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex and vital."
1.5 Affair with young Lord Alfred Douglas
1.5.1 25th May 1895, 2 year sentence for "gross indecency"
2 Marxist Perspective
2.1 Analysis of class relations & social conflict
2.1.1 Developed by high productivity of work class contradicting to private ownership and earnings of higher classes
2.2 Materialistic understanding of societal development
2.3 German philosophers, Karl Marx & Freidrich Engels, mid-to-late 19th century
3 Book Altercations
3.1 Wilde added chapter 3 to offer another interpretation to Henry's interest in Dorian
3.1.1 Fatherly, less homoerotic
4 Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
4.1 They appear every time Faustus begins contemplating the state of his mortal soul. The Good Angel's goal is to convince Faustus to abandon his sins and return to God, while the Bad Angel tries to get the scholar to continue in his pursuit of magic and so remain loyal to the devil. He is won over by the bad angel
4.1.1 Good angel represents Faustus's desire to repent, and the Bad Angel, his desire to keep right on sinning.
4.1.2 Basil and Henry
5 Gothic Genre
5.1 Sensibility - extreme emotion and wild emotional shifts
5.2 The supernatural/ghostly
5.3 Excess and extremity of violence and cruelty
5.4 The exotic and oriental
5.5 Imagery of darkness, shadow, decay
5.6 Fear, horror, terror
5.7 Isolation & lonliness
5.8 Blurring between sanity & insanity
5.9 Extreme/unusual weather
5.10 Concealment & captivity
5.11 1880s Revival of Gothic as powerful literary form
6 Catholic Guilt
6.1 Sin --> confession --> repentance --> redemption -->
6.2 We will always sin, inherent, Eve eats fruit from the tree of knowledge, now have knowledge of possibility of sin
6.3 Dorian never repents, James is the penance. Henry the serpent/fruit?
7 The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885
7.1 Used to send Wilde to prison 1895, homosexual acts.
7.1.1 Lawyer presented evidence of homoerotic passages from his literature and love letter to Douglas
7.2 Nicknamed the 'Blackmailer's Charter'
7.3 Dorian threatens Allan with it
8 Fin de siècle Victorian England
8.1 End of an era, sense on rebellion against the Victorian period
8.2 Rich, lazy, public display, opium
9 Critics
9.1 Outraged by lack of morality
9.1.1 Wilde defended himself with the famous preface
10 Narcissus
10.1 Greek mythology, Narcissus was known for his beauty. He disdained those who loved him. Nemesis noticed this behavior and attracted Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection until he died.
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