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Oscar Wilde

Art for art's sake = art does not have any moral purposes and its only aim is to pursue beauty.

 Wilde said that he lived in a materialistic world and the pursuit of beauty was the only way to prevent the murder of the soul. He lived his life a a work of art , and lived the double role of rebel and dandy.
 The dandy is a bourgeois artist that despite his uneasiness, while the bohemian cuts off from his class. The dandy is an anti conformist hero who follows the cult of beauty and pursues his own pleasure.
 The story is told by an unobtrusive third person narrator whit ban internal point of view to allow a process of identification between the reader and the character.
 The setting is vividly described with a vocabulary appealing to the senses.
 The characters are presented by showing, that is they reveal themselves through what they say.

Themes

 Relationship art/life (art survives people because it is eternal);
 The double (the picture becomes the representation of the dark side of Dorian's personality );
 The story is allegorical (it is a version of the myth of Faust, a man who sells his soul to the devil to stay young )

Style
 Jewelled( Wilde uses a very refined style, full of precious images and rhetorical devices ) ;
 Epigrammatic( Wilde uses short , but meaningful statements that hide a paradoxical truth) ;
 Witty (it is characterised by sharp and subtle remarks causing laughter and amusement in the reader)


The Picture of Dorian Gray - The story

Dorian gray, a young man of outstanding beauty, is very popular in the best London society. Everybody loves him and wants to be in his company. Lord Henry Wotton introduces him to the philosophy of a new Hedonism, a life of pleasure founded on Youth and beauty. The arris basil Hallward paints a portrait of Dorian that wonderfully captures the young man's extraordinary charms. Dorian, impressed by the perfection of his own beauty as it portrayed by the painter, wishes never to grow old. Surprisingly, his wish is granted: his dissolute and immoral life (Dorian causes the suicide of his fiancée Sibyl an murders his only frien Basil) leaves no signs on his face but disfigures the painting , which shows the marks of Dorian's natural and moral decay. Disgusted by the portrait, Dorian finally tries to destroy it but, as soon as he does it, he dies. After his death, the portrait resumes it's perfect beauty, while the signs of corruption appear on Dorian's body .

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