Essay on The Picture of Dorian Gray as a Moral Book

The Picture of Dorian Gray as a Moral Book

The Picture of Dorian Gray was a remarkably well-written book due to the reaction of its themes by society. In the preface of the novel, Wilde introduces the opinion that “…there is no moral or immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all.” Numerous views can be taken upon this fastidious comment. Many would agree that Wilde is justifiably correct because the preface was written with the intention that his readers understand the deeper meaning of the themes than worrying about whether it is considered morally acceptable; or perhaps, the view that it could be considered moral or immoral by the impact it has on the readers’ lives. Even though there are several positions held on what The Picture of Dorian Gray’s most important meaning is about, the most prominent is the novel as a moral book. Lord Henry Wotton immediately begins to corrupt Dorian’s mind after they first meet by forcing his immoral thoughts of “yielding to temptation” which allows Lord Henry to hold his attention. After listening for quite a while to Lord Henry’s views, Dorian begins to change his own to match them, and therefore begins to live a life of immorality. The yellow book is a device that Lord Henry uses to further corrupt and drive Dorian deeper into the pits of sin. Through Lord Henry’s influence, the changes in Dorian Gray, and the impact of the yellow book, Oscar Wilde efficiently reveals The Picture of Dorian Gray as a moral book.

Lord Wotton sees Dorian as “wonderfully handsome…all of youth’s passionate purity,” and cannot resist the t…

…self from the influence of this book. Or perhaps…that he never sought to free himself from it.” Dorian procures nine copies from Paris to have them bound in different colors to fit his mood, which implies that he was in all probability never without it. From the yellow book the moral learned is “all access as well as all renunciation” leads to punishment.

In conclusion, it has been reiterated that Lord Henry’s influence, the changes in Dorian, and the immorality of the yellow book further enforced The Picture of Dorian Gray as a moral book. Oscar Wilde allows for those who could understand the real meaning of the novel by comprehending the importance of these three things to discern that he fully intended on writing this novel as a moral book.

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