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Oscar Wilde

Kalchenko Nikita, 11A

Oscar Wilde was the most prominent representative of the decadent literature and the leader of the English aesthetic movement. His only novel «The Picture of Dorian Gray» expresses the author’s decadent views. It is devoted to relations between life and art, individual and beauty.

Wilde has his understanding of the proper aim of art. For him beauty is the supreme pleasure of art. The only aim of art, according to Wilde, is to create beauty. So, he rejects art reflecting the surrounding life. On the contrary, he preaches the theory of «art for art’s sake»; thus, he defines a purpose of an artist: «to charm, to delight, to give pleasure.»

Wilde created a new type of novel. For the first time an object of art was one of the main characters of a novel and for the first time the author aspirated to reveal the novel with the problems of art and the pretence of art.

The genre of the novel «The Picture of Dorian Gray» was original. It was the phylosophiclal-phychological novel. On the one hand, it is a psychological investigation of the hero of that time, who decided to depart from generally accepted moral principles and ethic norms and to create his own «style of life.»

There is only one main ideology in the novel. It is the aestheticism of the author. Wilde tries to prove his saying «Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,» leading us in the world that is build on the conflict between beauty and evil in the human society. The action takes place in splendid palaces. The heroes are surround by flowers, luxury, jewellery. These things can not change the state of things in world and in person in particular. So, as the great humanist, Wilde does not allow wicked people to flourish in the world. In his opinion, the real beauty can not accompany the immoral life.

Basil Hallward is an artist to the core. He is kind, generous, honest and humane. He is more artist than a human being. He sees form but not inner essence.

Lord Henry is a real serpent-tempter. He is a high class of that time in miniature. He is cynical, heartless and immoral. In this story everybody becomes each other’s victim, except Lord Henry.

Dorian Gray is the victim not only of Henry Wotton but also of the society in general. Society in the novel does not provide a good foundation for the young man. As his appearance is the creation of the God, his soul is the creation of society.

Paradoxes are an inseparable part of Wilde’s creative work. The main paradox of the novel is the paradox between the hedonism of aesthetic theory and the humanism of the author. As well as paradoxes, symbolism is also the characteristic feature of the novel. The main symbol is the portrait itself. The style of the book is great. The language is laconic, exact, expressive and colourful. There are many metaphors in it.

I am sure this book changes one’s attitude to Beauty. Wilde persuades us not to be idolatrous for it, because Beauty can save a person, but can destroy him as well.

Опубликовано 23.01.2021 в категории Работы учащихся |
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Автор сайта

Щукина Надежда Михайловна
учитель английского языка, зав. кафедрой ИЯ, Заслуженный учитель РХ, МОУ “Гимназия”, г.Абакан, р. Хакасия.


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