The Picture of Dorian Gray

Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

Mind Map on The Picture of Dorian Gray, created by ShelleyRose on 04/08/2014.

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Created by ShelleyRose over 5 years ago
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The Picture of Dorian Gray
1 Themes
1.1 The Superficial Nature of Society
1.1.1 Within TPODG there are three different classes in society, upper class, middle class and lower class. Often Wilde mocks the upper class (The Comedy of Manners A04) and highlights the differences between society and how the working class work hard unlike the upper class who don't have to work for money because they inherited it. (Gray inherited money from Lord Kelso A04) Society is also superficial in the way that they behave, for instance the upper class "Men who talked" about Gray became silent as "there was something in the purity of his face that rebuked them". Even though the rumors of Gray are true the beauty he has is but a mask for his immoral actions. Also what matters most to Dorian, Lord Henry, and the polite company they keep is not whether a man is good at heart but rather whether he is handsome. This shows how society are hung upon the beauty that at a person has- this theme can also link into the importance of youth and beauty.
2 The Negative Consequences of Influence
2.1 If Basil hadn't let Lord Henry meet Gray he would have never been influenced, thus there would not have been a novel. Basil knows that Henry's influenced "would be bad", and he tries to play the part of the good angel who tries to keep Dorian on a good path. (Doctor Faustus and Homosexuality- never explicit but the undercurrent of homosexual feelings Basil has could be shown through his behavior, he was "dominated, soul, brain, and power" by Gray. But Lord Henry influences Gray and uses it as an experiment in which guides his own pleasure, Gray becomes a "wonderful study" as he uses Gray as a subject and watches his corruptive influence take hold over Gray. (A04 Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde). We can also see how the influence that was put upon Dorian had a knock on effect as he had to keep secrets thus resulting in him killing Basil because he knew his secret and Dorian started to corrupt other people e.g- Lord Gloucester's wife.
2.1.1 The painting and the yellow book have a profound effect on Dorian, that influence him to commit immoral actions over the course of nearly two decades. Dorian's devotion to Henry's hedonism and yellow book precipitate his own downfall. The sacrifice of Dorian, whether it be to another person (LH) or a work of art (Book) leads to his own destruction. Similar to Basil, who's idolatry towards Dorian leads to his murder. Also Sibyl fell into Dorian's influence, and by love, which caused her bad acting as her art became her life, thus creating bad art. The variety of influences that arise in the novel are a series of domino- like influences. Sibyl is "like a trampled flower" which could foreshadow the immoral behavior and corruption which Gray takes through the course of the rest of the novel. Both Gray and Sibyl are referred to as "flowers" which creates a link between the two characters. Lord Henry states that there is "something terribly enthralling in the exercise of influence" .

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