Dorian Gray, Themes

Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

A Levels Dorian and Dickinson Mind Map on Dorian Gray, Themes, created by laurissafield on 04/11/2014.

Created by laurissafield over 5 years ago
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Dorian Gray, Themes
1 Homoeroticism
1.1 "I was dominated, soul, brain and power by you"
1.2 "I worshipped you" - Basil
1.3 Homosexuality was a punishable offence in Victorian times
1.4 The novel was used against Wilde in his trials
1.5 "The love that he bore him - for t really was love - had nothing in it that was not noble or intellectual"
1.6 "There is too much of myself in it" - Basil about the painting
1.7 Novel reflects Wilde's attitudes?
2 Settings
2.1 Contrasting settings emphasised by being placed in chronological chapters
2.1.1 Eg, The Vane's house immediately juxtaposed by Lord Henry's house
2.2 Setting of Opium Dens
2.2.1 Reflects the state of Dorian's mind/soul Links to theme of double life - he "dressed commonly" to go to dens
2.2.2 "sordid shame of the great city"
2.2.3 "Dens of horror"
2.3 CONTEXT: East end was rough end of London, whilst West End was opulent
2.3.1 Opulence of upper class reflected in setting "Reclining in a luxurious armchair" "Reclining" suggests relaxed "luxurious" emphasises opulence
2.3.2 Lower class reflected by settings "shrill intrusive light" "dingy sitting room"
3 Youth and Beauty/Aestheticism
3.1 Perhaps Wilde is mocking the fickle nature of society who believe beauty is everything
3.2 Irony in: "Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face"
3.3 "The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation"
3.4 Intertextual links to "Adonis" and "Narcissus" - famed for their beauty
3.5 "Youth is the one thing worth having
3.6 "The man he had sought to kill had all the bloom of boyhood, the unstained purity of youth"
3.7 "He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty"
3.8 "withered, wrinkled and loathsome of visage"
3.9 "it was his beauty that had ruined him"
3.10 "Better to be beautiful than good"
4 Influence/Corruption
4.1 Dorian over Basil
4.1.1 "He is all my art to me now"
4.1.2 "Some subtle influence passed from him to me"
4.1.3 "Our eyes met" - Romanticised description, emphasises Basil's idolatry
4.1.4 "As long as I live, the personality of Dorian Gray will dominate me"
4.2 Henry over Dorian
4.2.1 "Yellow book" represents a damaging influence CONTEXT: Books considered immoral were bound in yellow "For years Dorian could not free himself from the influence of the book"
4.2.2 "Entirely fresh influences were at work within him"
4.2.3 "Youth is the only thing worth having" - Dorian repeats Henry's words
4.2.4 "Basil could have helped him resist Lord Henry's influence"
4.2.5 links to Faust - Henry becomes the Mephistophelean Devil, corrupting Dorian
4.3 Dorian over others
4.3.1 "Why is your friendship so fatal to young men?"
4.3.2 "They say you corrupt everyone with whom you become intimate"
5 Class/Society
5.1 "Only swell people go to the park"
5.2 "the great aristocratic art of doing absolutely nothing"
5.3 "It would be absurd for him to marry so much beneath him"
6 Presentation of women
6.1 "She is a peacock in everything but beauty"
6.2 "tried to look picturesque, but only succeeded in looking untidy"
6.3 Sibyl juxtaposes the presentation of the other women in the novel
6.4 "nervous staccato laugh...from shrill lips"
6.5 women were supposed to provide the home. The actress is torn between work and domesticity
6.5.1 "I don't suppose you will want your wife to act"
7 Theatricality vs Reality
7.1 The Vane's
7.1.1 Mrs Vane sees their life as a series of tableau's "in search of an imaginary gallery" Believes Sibyl will have a happy ending with "Prince Charming", just as in all the melodramas
7.1.2 James Vane is the realism aspect of the two females
7.1.3 "You taught me what reality is" Sibyl chooses reality over theatricality, as the two cannot co-exist
7.2 Dorian Gray
7.2.1 Watches and enjoys Basil's suffering as though he is watching a play "the passion of the spectator" "watching him with that strange expression one sees on those who are absorbed in a play" Predatory reaction to Basil Suggests Dorian is losing his sense of reality, along with his moralistic sense
8 Hedonism
8.1 Double Life
8.1.1 "Dorian Gray, dressed commonly"
8.1.2 "he was not really his relations to society"
8.1.3 "terrible pleasure of a double life"
8.2 Henry preaches Hedonism but does not practice
8.3 "who searches for happiness? I have searched for pleasure"
8.4 Henry views Dorian as an experiment
8.5 "exquisite pleasure in playing with the lads unconscious egotism" - manipulative
8.6 "you never say a moral thing and you never do a wrong thing"
8.7 "the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it"
9 Isolation
9.1 Dorian hides the portrait in the attic
9.2 Echoes isolation of Faustus
9.3 "One solitary star" in the sky on the night he hides it in the attic
9.4 "What had Dorian Gray had to do with the death of Sibyl Vane?" - referring to himself in the third person emphasises his isolation
9.5 "He hated to be separated from the picture that was such as part of his life"

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