He could not handle the propensity of how he had done. In fact, the opium den functions as the worst space in the novel, because Wilde depicts them as dangerous. They are detrimental to the evolvement and transformation of Dorian as they deny him traditional heroism. However, he had no leads on his whereabouts. However, because Dorian was smart, he deceives him through his physical appearance that he was too young to have known her sister, who had killed herself 18 years earlier.
In essence, this deception was smart because he had not aged in the same time span and his face still was young. In consequence, James releases him, but he is then approached by a woman who confirms that he was Dorian, the man he sought and he had not aged.
She reproaches James for having not killed him. Upon realization, James runs after him but he is long gone. However, he does not lose hope of avenging her sister and starts stalking Dorian.
Dorian starts to fear for his life. He knows what he had done was wrong and punishable. However, James is accidentally killed by a hunter while stalking Dorian. At this point, he was responsible for the death of various individuals, signifying that he had tremendously changed. Dorian returns to London and informs Lord Henry that he wanted to change. He did not feel anything for the immorality that his aesthetic life brought, but at that thought provided a glimpse of hope that he had started changing.
His strategy begins with vowing that he would not break the heart of Merton, who was his current romantic interest. Dorian, upon taking a step towards goodness starts to wonder whether his change of heart could reflect in his portrait. However, his is not true because upon looking at the portrait it is clear that it had no changed a bit and he looked even uglier, which means that he had committed even more crimes. It is at this point that Dorian realizes that his motives to change, moral reformation, and self-sacrifice would bear no fruits.
As such, it was clear that his actions to change were the curiosity and vanity of his quest to change for the better. In effect, he decides that only by confessing will he absolve himself for all wrongdoings he had committed. He also decides to destroy the only evidence that had, which was the portrait, which can be considered to have reflected his true nature. His actions were no longer controllable.
Dorian was determined to kill his past, so he could live without the portraits hideous warnings and in effect be at peace. Even so, as Wilde writes, the portrait was the one living in his life as it was always changing. He takes a knife, which he had earlier used to kill Basil, and in rage of what he had become stabs the picture.
Once he does that, with the intention that he was to destroy the evidence of his true nature, only ends up killing himself. In essence, because the picture was the one living, instead of it being destroyed, Dorian died like he had actually staubbed himself. Dorian and his portrait had changed positions, as when the servants approached his room, they only found an unknown old man who had stabbed his heart while his face was decrepit and withered.
Basil and Dorian alike adore the portrait, however they have no idea of what is in store them in the future. Dorian falls in love with Sibyl Vane, a beautiful and extremely talented young actress, and goes to see her perform almost every night. He becomes engaged to her and, rightly so, decides to bring his friends along with him to show off his future bride at one of her performances. Sibyl, however, realizes that she is in love, and decides that she need not act to her full potential.
In fact, she performs horribly and disgusts Dorian and his friends alike. After the show, Dorian becomes furious with Sibyl and declares his love for her null and void.
Almost everything is still intact except for his smile. It has changed from the once beautiful smile, to a cruel and evil looking grin. From here on, the portrait changes from day to day in an increasingly malicious way.
The third and final stage of the portrait represents Dorian in a full fledged evil form. While the picture has been changing all throughout the novel, it takes a dramatic change when he single-handedly kills one of his best friends.
Basil follows Dorian into his house and wants to see his, as he remembered, beloved picture of Dorian. While looking at the portrait in amazement and confusion, Dorian lashes out upon him in a mad rage.
He stabs Basil again and again in the head for reasons no one will ever know. He realizes that there is a look of cunning in his eye, along with scarlet blood stains on his hands. Finally, the imagery that Oscar Wilde uses so well in Dorian Gray affects the novel greatly in whole. As the portrait changes, so does the mood and the actions of the characters. At first, when the portrait is beautiful, everyone is happy, and it seems as though nothing could ever go wrong.
The mood tends to shift from a joyful tone, to more of a ghastly and horrifying one. This is not fully shown until the novel shifts eighteen years into the future. Rumours are constantly being spread about Dorian and his disgraceful habits while weather is constantly dark and gloomy.
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The Picture of Dorian Gray essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of .
Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was written during the years that Wilde was writing fairy tales and short stories such as “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime” (), which the novel resembles in milieu. Aside from the fairy tales and “The Canterbury Ghost” (), the novel is his only prose fantasy. In Oscar Wilde's classic novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, imagery affects the story as a whole. One image that can be traced throughout the entire novel, is.
A+ Student Essay. What role does Sibyl Vane play in The Portrait of Dorian Gray? Wilde takes pains to establish Sibyl Vane as a multidimensional character with ambitions, allegiances, and a past. Yet to Dorian, she is merely a source of entertainment, an ornament that quickly loses its shine. The only thin that James knew of Dorian was how her sister referred to him, “prince charming.” The Picture of Dorian Gray Critical Analysis. However, at the opium den, James overheard someone referring to Dorian as prince charming, and instantly capitalizes on the opportunity to avenge her sister’s passing on.