Relationship between art and life


Art is a way for an artist to express how he appreciates the life around him/her. Life  changes daily, but an artist seems to make time stop on the canvas. In The Picture of Dorian Grey, however, it is the painting that ages and he is the one that stays the same. Sibyl Vane is seen as an artist to Dorian because she is an actress. Then after he tells her he loves her, he no longer sees her like that.

I agree that there is an art of living, but not in the sense of paintings in museums and such. There’s so much beauty in the world. Aesthetically, its not hard to see something God has made to make your day a little better; seeing the beauty and grace. The art of living should just be enjoying the time you have, and treasuring every moment. Ethically, it would be expressing yourself through your actions; by what you say and do.

There is a significance to Dorian’s “awakening”. This book almost mirrors Oscar Wilde’s life. Basil is the conscience, Lord Henry is the friend who knows his secret, and Dorian is Oscar.  “Why is your friendship so fatal to young men? There was that wretched boy in the Guards who committed suicide. You were his great friend. There was Sir Henry Ashton, who had to leave England with a tarnished name.” (pg. 144) And it continues, listing other men and how they had to leave town. Dorian’s “awakening” is his knowledge of sexuality. Oscar was gay and so was his main character.

The text shows secrecy and disclosure by Dorian’s sexuality. There are rumors of Dorian’s escapades with men, and Basil comes to Dorian’s house to get answers. At first, Dorian doesn’t want to admit that he likes men so he tries to take an interest in Sibyl, but really he’s just lying to himself. After she dies Dorian realizes he’s homosexual and proceeds to be attracted to men. Dorian keeps his portrait a secret while also trying to hide his sexuality, but rumors spread and Dorian eventually reveals his portrait to Basil.

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