Dorian Gray: Art and Influence


“There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray.  All influence is immoral–immoral from the scientific point of view.”

This can be somewhat hard to interpret.  I see it as Lord Henry telling Dorian Gray that influence is more opinionated rather than based on actual fact.  When he says immoral from the scientific point of view, he means that people aren’t influencing based on natural feelings.  People borrow ideas from others to make his or her influence seem right.  No one has the right to change another persons opinions so that it agrees with that of the influencer.   Everyone wants to have that good influence in life.  Lord Henry also claims everyone is here for one purpose.  A person’s aim in life is self-development.  Maybe Basil is using art to influence self development in his own life or possibly others.  His painting makes himself obsessed with Dorian, which in turn made Dorian think of himself as a beautiful person.  Lord Henry’s idea says there is no such thing as a good influence is completely true in this book.  Basil’s possible attempt at good influence went all wrong.  He in reality created obsession.  Dorian’s own obsession seems almost narcissistic which is very problematic.

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