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The Picture Of Dorian Gray 5

838 words - 4 pages

The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

Harry is Pan, the piper who leads Dorian on his path to destruction, decadence, and moral decay. As with Pan, the merry and much-loved god, the victim of the god's attention does not fare well. As Pan had Syrinx and Echo, Harry has Dorian. Pan caused madness and panic with his passions; Harry seems to have had the same result with Dorian.

Wilde reveals much of Harry's character in the writing. His is the predominant voice; he delivers most of the dialogue. Is Harry the autobiographical character? He is shown as the clever, witty, blasé sophisticate; jaded, bored, and poised for an interesting project. Enter Dorian, whose innocence and beauty present ...view middle of the document...

The tension between Harry and Dorian heightens; he fascinates and is reflected more brilliant by Dorian's gaze. "He felt that the eyes of Dorian Gray were fixed on him, and the consciousness that amongst his audience there was one whose temperament he wished to fascinate, seemed to give his wit keenness, and to lend colour to his imagination." (p. 31) Harry fills Dorian with the desire to know everything about life; that the search for beauty is the real secret of life. Sadly for Dorian, beauty is elusive, empty, shallow. As his life spirals downward, beauty becomes a mockery. He is trapped in his eternal beauty; forever young and forever unwise, petulant, and self-centered. Dorian does not have the capacity to sift Harry's theories through the sieve of wisdom. Lacking depth and dimension, he can only focus on his own desires.

Harry teaches Dorian until the end. It is their final conversation that makes Dorian realize that his reformation is just another vanity, horribly revealed in the painting. Harry is content with his creation; he is Marsyas listening to Apollo. If Harry knows the reality of Dorian's torments, he does not care to acknowledge it. He wishes to keep his creation unsullied and unspoiled in his imagination, as pretty as a picture.

The comforts of home can be deadly. Just look at Harry. Comfort killed him off long before his infection did the job....

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