Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dorian Gray 1-2

49 Comments:

Blogger jeffg said...

I think that Lord Henry is more of an encouragement than anything. Lord Henry has good intentions in what he says to Dorian. He sees so many things, especially beauty, going for him, and he doesn't want that to fall apart for him. Lord Henry really respects Dorian and wants what is best for him.

February 07, 2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger David L said...

I think that Lord Henry represents social "evil" because he brings temptation upon Dorian. Before, Dorian was content in his life, but Henry opened his eyes to a different world, and we see a foreshadowing of Dorian's corruption. Basil represents social "good" in that he tries to protect Dorian from Lord Henry's corruption and temptuous ideas.

February 07, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger zverges said...

I agree with Sonny when he said that Lord Henry was a very big influenece on Dorian Gray in the first two chapters. Dorian Gray is a young man who is beautiful and innocent. However, when Lord Henry begins to say things that make Dorian think then he begins to make himself less innocent through thought.

February 07, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger Kurt W. said...

I can definitely see these characters as embodyments of certain traits. I think that this novel is quite autobiographical, and these characters are all parts of Wilde's personality. The "evil" that Lord Henry personifies is the conforming aspect of Wilde's personality. Lord Henry is the "proper" Victorian man with a calm marraige. Like Wilde, though his wife is faithful and the marraige has no signs of distress, Henry just does not like being married. In Chapter 1 Henry states " the one charm of marraige is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties". This is how Wilde lived, by hiding his true love from his wife.

February 07, 2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger DaveV said...

Mr. Gunnel i think im going to agree with you. I don't think that lord Henry sets out with intentions on "disrupting" Dorian. I think lord henry is just a little longwinded and kind of enjoys hearing himself talk, so he just rambles and it just happens that what he said to Dorian affected him the way it did.

February 07, 2007 11:18 AM  
Blogger CaitlinO said...

I agree with leanne in that henry is totally the person that believes the mind can create heaven from hell and hell from heaven

February 07, 2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger David L said...

I find it ironic that Basil, who is seen in chapters 1 and 2 as the no Aestheticistic or Hedonistic person between Lord Henry and him, is the one who has the rich house and flowers and all. It seems that Wilde is contracdicting himself again by doing this.

February 07, 2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger Matt W said...

I think Marie is correct in catching the underlying intent of Wilde in using all his descriptions and imagery to convey the mood and emotion of the scene. Wilde ties all of the emotions to the imagery and colors present. His choice of descriptive words reflects his belief in Aestheticism.

February 07, 2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger jeffg said...

I agree with Amy. I don't think that the descritions relating to the flowers and beautiful imagery coincide with the idea of homosexuality. I think that it all has to do with the aestheticism.

February 07, 2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger Kurt W. said...

I agree with Amy, I think that Wilde's flamboyant use of imagery and symbols is representative of his love of beauty and obsession with aesthetics. The birds, bees, and flowers may represent things, but Wilde chooses these things because they are beautiful objects in nature and Wilde loves to find the beauty in nature.

February 07, 2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger DaveV said...

I agree with Kurt on the fact that L. Henry representsts an aspect of Wilde, but i disagree on the part of him you chose. In the backround Wilde was married to Constance but became bored and starts i think 2 affairs. I think it parallels what Henry says when he talks about the beauty of marriage, and how it is just a lie fest. I think that may be what Wilde is trying to portray through L. Henry.

February 07, 2007 11:21 AM  
Blogger zverges said...

I think that Wilde is hinting at some sort of corruption coming in the future do to the fact that he mentions the birds and the bees. If Dorian gets so upset over his own painting, then what more will he do when he realizes his youth.

February 07, 2007 11:22 AM  
Blogger levik said...

I think that Lord Henry knows that Dorian is young, innocent, and blinded to a lot of the world at this point. He tries to influence him and make him think through what is going on. He wants to open his eyes a little bit but also wants to make Dorian feel some interest in what he is saying. If Dorian is intrigued by Lord Henry, he will want to spend more time with him and talk with him in more detail. I believe that Lord Henry wants to "steal" the friendship of Dorian from Basil.

February 07, 2007 11:22 AM  
Blogger chrisg said...

Basil does not want Lord Henry around because he knows that Lord Henry will try and corrupt him. Like Basil said, Dorian is a pure and innocent boy.

February 07, 2007 11:23 AM  
Blogger jessg said...

I agree with Sunny in that Lord Henry isn't mean, cynister maybe, but not mean. Really, he just pointed out the flaws of Dorian Gray and being so consumed by your good looks. I think that Lord Henry is the kind of person who speaking freely draws thoughts out of people, however I think that he attempted to draw out thoughts of higher meanings from Gray. In the book, Lord Henry mentions how he once had a great revelation and how he was now wondering whether or not Gray was having a similar revelation. This makes me think that he was purposfully trying to provoke a response out of Gray. I also agree with Amy in that this whole book (or at least what we have read) seems to be based purily on aesthetic ideas. I think that the attitudes presented in these chapters are really based on beauty rather than smarts.

February 07, 2007 11:23 AM  
Blogger Nick W said...

I agree with Kurt. Wilde wants to bring out the beauty in things and not the bad. In beauty Wilde see's a different type of object than you or me would see. Everyone might see something different but Wilde see's the beauty.

February 07, 2007 11:24 AM  
Blogger chrisg said...

The whole of the characters like Sonny said, is very different. Lord Henry is trying to get pleasure, while Basil is trying to preserve the innocence, and Dorian is pure and young.

February 07, 2007 11:24 AM  
Blogger DaveV said...

Chris, personnaly i dont think that Basil is so much worried about Dorian being corrupt, but as levi said i think he might also be afraid of losing his friendship to L Henry.

February 07, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger TaylorW said...

Q: How do you think that Lord Henry represents the people?
A: I think that he sort of controls the actions and thoughts of everyone else. Dorian doesn't realize the greatness of youth until Lord Henry explains it to him.
Q: Why does Lord Henry care mostly about beauty?
A: Lord Henry realizes that he didn't take advantage of his beauty in youth and regrets it terribly. He doesn't want Dorian to feel the same way that he does in the future.
Q: Why does Oscar Wilde use so much imagery?
A: He wants to immediately show in the novel that the characters really appreciate beauty. Each character describes eachother as beautiful people.
Q: Why does Basil not want Lord Henry to meet Dorian?
A: I agree with everyone in the circle that said that Basil is worried that Lord Henry would corrupt Dorian. He knows that Dorian trusts people and the Lord Henry is a very trustable person.
Q: Why does Lord Henry give Dorian all of this life long advice?
A: Like Jeff said, I think that Lord Henry is just trying to make things better for Dorian's life. Although, like Sunny said, he takes pleasure in being able to mold somebody's life.

February 07, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger levik said...

Lord Henry seems to control and manipulate the situation between Basil, Lord Henry, and Dorian like Katie said. It seems like he uses his words very wisely to control the situation without showing too much power or control. He tricks the others in this way.

February 07, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger jessg said...

Because Wilde seems to think that beauty is the ultimate version of perfection, I think that Wilde's considering Basil as "the painter" is really a form of flattery. I think that he views the men behind the canvas or as Marie said, the man behind the book, as being the most valuable of all.

February 07, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger chrisg said...

Yes it is dehumanizing for him to call Basil the painter because it takes away his worth, and represents him as something less than what he is. He is more than just a painter. Also, I agree with Marie that Basil represents Wilde because they both are the creative artists.

February 07, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger Nick W said...

I agree with Marie when she says Wilde is Basil. Basil is the "artist" in the story and Wilde is the "artist" of his story. He created it to be enjoyed just how an artist wants his work to be enjoyed as well.

February 07, 2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger CaitlinO said...

I think henry has good intentions with dorian. henry know he is young and easily influenced and I think he is just doing what he thinks is right for him

February 07, 2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger AdamSG said...

many have said that with dorian, beauty is that he can only be seen as an object, though he is obviously smart and cultured, his draw to people is his overall looks. Lord Henry is merely showing that he is going to have to rely on other assets, with he is presented, no one see's who or what he really does but only his outside feature's. Basil only speaks of his beauty and when presented to lord henry he is able to go past that and strip dorian of his looks almost instantly, because dorian does not firstly see that his looks are not long lasting. You can see his obviously homosexual tendencies in all character's by their speech, and willingness to talk about the masiqueline beauty in other males, one trait you would not see in there modern time nor there modern philosophies.

February 07, 2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger Haley C said...

ASHLEYM: I think that Lord Henry is just curious. I agree he by no means wanted to corrupt Dorian Gray all he wanted to do was meet him and maybe have him have the same impact on his life that Dorian has on Basil's life, who wouldnt want to meet someone so highly regarded.

February 07, 2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger Kurt W. said...

I like Chris' categories that the characters fall in. I do think that they are still parts of Wilde's personality. It makes sense that Lord Henry is the pleasure-seeker, the part of Wilde that lead him to the affairs. Basil is the artist of Wilde, the man continually trying to find beauty in absolutely everything while creating his own works of beauty. Dorian is the man that Wilde wishes he could be. Dorian is the epitome of beauty to Basil, and Wilde is continually seeking beauty.

February 07, 2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger levik said...

Talking about how both Basil and Lord Henry treat Dorian, I think that they both want his friendship badly. Considering Wilde's background, there might be some sexual motivations behind how they treat him as well.

February 07, 2007 11:28 AM  
Blogger jessg said...

I think that Basil's biggest fear in losing Dorian Gray is that he will lose his inspiration and will not be able to paint his masterpieces as he has been able to do with Gray around. He claims that he truly loves Gray, however as Lord Henry points out, Basil is more in love with his work than he is any part of life or any person in life.

February 07, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger chrisg said...

I agree with Amy that the other characters are trying to protect Dorian. This could be either for his beauty, his innocence, or other factors because they see something beautiful in Dorian.

February 07, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger NathanK said...

I agree with Levi. Lord henry is very controling just in the way he chooses words and phrases. The way the story is written i believe that Wilde shows a piece of himself in each character. I think that henry is the "intelligence" side of Oscar Wilde.

February 07, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger CaitlinO said...

I think he would of reacted differntly if henry had not of said all those things about beauty being everything. He got it in his head before he saw the picture.

February 07, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger Haley C said...

I think that Marie brought up a very good point that oscar wilde could be basil. it makes sense when you think about it. He is writing Basil and his painting's like him and his writing.

February 07, 2007 11:29 AM  
Blogger Kurt W. said...

I compltely agree with Levi on the motivation for friendship. I also think that Wilde was quite an arrogant man, so it would make sense that he would love different aspects of himself.

February 07, 2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger Nick W said...

Lord Henry deffinently effected Dorian's view of the paiting. Dorian was so shocked to hear how old he would become. His eyes opened to the painting and realized how the paiting will stay the same but he would not be as young as the paiting is. I think it scared Dorian into wanting to preserve it and be greatful of the art.

February 07, 2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger levik said...

Answering Katie's question, I think that Dorian's reactions and outlook were very much changed by Lord Henry's comments. Dorian changes his mind a couple of times during the first two chapters, but he says that he wants to be young forever and thinks about his age and beauty more seriously because of Lord Henry.

February 07, 2007 11:30 AM  
Blogger alexmu said...

I also think Lord Henry is more of an encouragement to Dorian. He knows that Dorian has a lot going for him, especially his looks, and he tells Dorian that this will not last forever. On the other hand, Lord Henry seems a little shady and somewhat manipulative. He tells Dorian all these things, but doesnt want Basil to hear what he tells Dorian. This leaves me questioning the real kind of person Lord Henry is.

February 07, 2007 11:31 AM  
Blogger DaveV said...

i dont think that oscar wilde "is basil" i think that its broader than just one character, i think kurt said it that he portrays himself through many characters rather than just one

February 07, 2007 11:31 AM  
Blogger ZachM said...

I just have to say that I think Dorian is not as innocent as many people believe. I think the reason we see him as innocent is because Basil sees him as an innocent and Wilde said that art is a reflection of the viewer. I think we see Dorain as Basil sees him.

February 07, 2007 11:31 AM  
Blogger jessg said...

I don't know that Lord Henry really wants to distroy Gray's beauty, really I think that he wants to ruin the value of the beauty. I think that Lord Henry feels that beauty is valued as a higher commodity than knowledge, and being that Lord Henry is more of a knowledgable fellow, the idea that Gray is more valuable than he is absolutaly kills Lord Henry.

February 07, 2007 11:32 AM  
Blogger ZachM said...

And we see Basil's innocence shattered at the end of chapter two when we lays on the couch with a look of pain on his face.

February 07, 2007 11:32 AM  
Blogger Matt W said...

Sonny has a good point that Basil wants to see to it that the beauty of Dorian is preserved. He wants this new beauty to be carried on by perfectly using the imprefect medium of paint and canvas.

February 07, 2007 11:32 AM  
Blogger chrisg said...

I agree with Sonny that Lord Henry is trying to destroy the idea of Dorian's, that he will remain beautiful. It almost seems that Lord Henry is striving to take everyone around him down. Lord Henry seems to symbolize Lord Alfred, in Oscar Wilde's life.

February 07, 2007 11:32 AM  
Blogger Nick W said...

I agree with David when he says this relates to Genesis by Dorian's eyes opening up and realizing "Temptation". Eating the apple and seeing that they are naked. So the "apple" for Dorian was talking to Lord Henry and seeing how the paiting will stay the same but Dorian will age and become maybe less of a person in his own eyes.

February 07, 2007 11:33 AM  
Blogger zverges said...

I think that Dorian Gray is the biggest portrayer of Oscar wilde. Oscar Wilde pushes for the aspect of youth and pleasure. Basil threatens to destroy the painting and Dorian says no because he needs it, he needs to preserve his youth.

February 07, 2007 11:33 AM  
Blogger levik said...

Talking about Smith's comment, once Dorian sees his picture, he realizes horrible things and sin. Like Dave L said in the fishbowl, Adam and Eve saw sin after beauty and being perfect was all they knew at first. Dorian finds out that he will not be young and beautiful forever and it really makes him think about the purpose of life.

February 07, 2007 11:33 AM  
Blogger Haley C said...

ASHLEY M: I agree with Nathan. Oscar Wilde does portray part of him self in each character. Like Nathan said Henry is the "Intellegence" side of Oscar Wilde. Basil is the "romantic" side of Wilde. And Dorian is the "beauty" of Wilde. I think it is interesting how Wilde does take parts of himself, that he obviously admires and distributes them to all of the characters.

February 07, 2007 11:33 AM  
Blogger NathanK said...

If Wilde is not just portrayed through one character like dave said, then who is Oscer in each person?

February 07, 2007 11:34 AM  
Blogger StaceyK said...

I think the fact that when Lord Henry meets Dorain Gray then Dorian Gray is changed beacuse he is told many differnt things by Henry and does not know what to believe beacuse he has not been taught those things before. He listents to him for awhile and then realizes that he is right of what he is saying. I think this changes his view on Basil and he does not think he is young anymore when he looks at his portrait. He is upset that he will grow old and the portrait will not. Now Basil gets upset of his portrait because Dorian does not like it. I think Lord Henry is trying to brake off the realtionship with Dorian and Basil beacuse he does not think they fit well. I think he has done a good job

February 07, 2007 5:53 PM  

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