Archive for October, 2009

Dorian Gray

October 30, 2009

Some main themes that i noticed from the first few chapters are secrecy and mystery.  In the first few chapters i was confused as to what were the real feelings of each character.  Basil is so impressed with his own painting that he says he wants to keep it to himself and not put it on display.  He says that it has too much of himself in it but I did not get why he wouldnt be able to put it on display.  He seems to show such an attraction for Dorian and i was confused if he really loved Dorian or the painting.  So many things are unclear to me because all three men show much attraction for each other but say they are in love with women. I think the author puts the mystory and secrecy in the book to keep the reader entertained and wanting to read more.  I am interested in finding out what the real feelings of these men are.

Art of Love or Love of Art?

October 30, 2009

One of the paradoxes that Oscar Wilde uses in his book The Picture of Dorian Gray, is in regards to Basil’s affection for Dorian. However, it is unclear if his affection is for Dorian or for the art he created from Dorian. It is almost as if he doesn’t know that he could be attracted to his art. Instead he projects his feelings actually towards Dorian; however, the reader gets this feeling that he does not even really know Dorian Gray by anything more than his looks and the way he behaves while sitting for the painting. If he is indeed attracted to Dorian then his feelings can be considered genuine. However, if he is attracted to what he created from Dorian and is only placing feelings towards Dorian, Basil can be considered as vain. Vain because he thinks so highly of his work that he himself has fallen in love with it. And to place such a high feeling on something you created yourself can not be considered anything other than vain.

Themes in A Picture of Dorian Grey

October 30, 2009

a possible theme that caught my eye was 

. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it.  Basil, p6.

 Its neat and seems also kind of true what Lord Henry says about how not knowing where his wife is can be kind of fun, since they have to keep guessing about it, and then they are able to make up really fantastical stories when they go out to dinner. If someone were able to have the trust and be able to tolerate a relationship like this, there are definitly obvious benefits and it seems like it could make the relationship more casual and more fun. Relationships aside though, even having more mystery in everyday life could be fun and if adopted as a practice today, would greatly reduce the media’s capacity to inform and sway peoples opinions. People would just mind their own business too, and people wouldnt have to worry as much about privacy issues.

Beauty

October 30, 2009

Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.

This thought is quite interesting because he is saying only those who find beauty will live beautifully. If you don’t see beauty in things in life you will not live beautifully. Also, there is some contraversy in this thought because no one can define what is beautiful to all. Some see beauty in nature and others see it in people or things made by man. Therefor anyone can live beautifully as long as they see beauty in some things in life. When it says “For these there is hope”, it is saying that without beauty there is no hope. It’s like Wilde is defining hope as beauty and vice versa. Anyone can be hopefull as long as they experience some type of beauty in their life because beauty is the essence of hope.

“There’s too much of me in it.” -Dorian Grey-

October 30, 2009

I find it particularly interesting that the painter is not interested in showcasing his “masterful” painting when Lord Henry feels that he should absolutely showcase his painting.  The reasoning behind this, he says, is that “there is too much of himself in it.”  I think this means that he has put too much pride and work into this painting to just have it judged and looked at by others who’s points of view of what beautiful is could be drastically different from his and Lord Henry’s.  Maybe many of his other paintings were done solely to be recognized for them or to make money off of them, but in this particular case he has too much of his own satisfaction with the painting riding on it and does not want to open it up to judgement from others to a scale that has no standard; Beauty(and art) have no standard, it’s personal.

Hunger

October 30, 2009

People in the United States have the wrong idea about what it is to be beautiful.  Beauty is in the eye of the viewer and if you think you are beautiful that is all that should matter.  It is not fair and it is not right to try and compare yourself to the people you see on television and in the media.  Looking like a model is not right for everyone.  Some people are born naturally to look like that, others not.  You should never starve yourself to try to be skinny.  Eating right and eatin healthy is always good and important, but starving yourself is not.  Going out and eating fast food hamburgers from McDonalds is not necessarilly the right thing to do either.  People just need a good balanced healthy diet with exercise.  Starving yourself should never be an option.

The element of a secret

October 30, 2009

Secrecy was a major theme through the first few chapters of the novel. The painter even stated the he never knows where where his wife is and she never knows where he is. He uses this to keep things exciteing becase the whole idea of marrage must be boring and dull. Also the theme of secrecy was used largely in the drawing and why he wouldn’t put it in an art show. To keep ones feeling and thoughts bottled up and hidden makes things more things more exciting yes becase you have the element of the unknown, but is it a just purpose when your never completly honest with anyone. Honestly he is losing both fame for not showing the painting and losing out of what is supposed to be his greatest relationship by not being completly honest in his marrage. The secrecy is a sick tool to keep life exciting with the tradeoff of honesty.

Dorian Grey Themes Pt. 1

October 30, 2009

As I read the first few pages of The Picture of Dorian Gray, I realized the artist, Basil, has this enormous feeling of accomplish.  Even his friend, Lord Henry, feels that the potrait of the young man is a great success.   The more Lord Henry looks at it the more he sees that Basil should put it in an exhibit.  Basil is unsure of what to do with his painting because he claims to have put too much of himself into it.  To me this means he spent so much time in it that he can’t just give it up to someone.  It means too much to him to give it up to just anyone.  It almost seems like an awkward obsession to me.  Basil goes onto explain that the young man in the portrait is an actual person by the name of Dorian Gray.  Wilde makes Basil seem like he has that obsession for Dorian by having Basil explain his beauty to Lord Henry.  Although, Wilde tries to disguise this obsession by using art as an excuse.  Basil is really only in love with his painting, not Dorian Gray.   One could think of this as a one sided “bromance” in which Basil is in love with Dorian from an art standpoint instead of a homosexual one.

America’s Hungry Eyes

October 30, 2009

I completely agree with Susan Bordo on her view of the portrayal of women’s eating in advertising. For example, when a woman is shown eating a hamburger in a McDonald’s commercial, she is shown taking a small bite of the burger, rather than scarfing down half of the American delicacy. This leads in to her view of male eating habits. Hardee’s commercials show men devouring nearly half of their huge burgers. However, Bordo also goes on to say that she believes the media exploits these “awful” eating habits (of both men and women) by promoting such items as Sugar Free Jello. These efforts, however, can also be disregarded once a Pillsbury commercial is aired. Sometimes, the warm frosting on a Pillsbury cake, or the sweet  cinnamon of a Betty Crocker delight can tempt even the strictest dieters. I completely agree with every statement made by Bordo. It’s a food fight within advertising. Fascinating.

Hunger as a motive

October 30, 2009

In today’s society the general public (mostly women) are held to the standard to look perfect and define all logicsitcs to have a perfect body. Though most all of us know that it is impossible but the pressure is put there though media and everyday life. This leads to diseases such as anerexia and bulimea. These are self inflicted diseases on our own society becaseu we make our people believe that they have to acheive perfection. Honestly is the trade off worth haveing people literally starve them selves and slowly kill themselves for beauty. What in society gives us the right to judge each other on how we look or more on the weight issuse how much we weigh. Beacause in other societies being overweight is a great thing and a status symbol of success, but that trend definatly was missed here in the United States. What gives us the right to judge and force people to die.