During end, Oscar Wilde closes the preface impling

     During the Victorian
period men and women lived in separate spheres. Men belonged in the public
sphere, they were strong,hard working, intelligent, rational, brave. Everyone
lived under control, in a patraichic system that only allowed men to work, he
was the protector and provider of the family.
      The novel “The portrait of Dorian
Grey” outdares and breaks the Victorian ideals. The protagonist of the book is
a man who has a hedonistic livestyle, he pursues pleasure, lives his live to
the fullest, the present moment being the most important, and moreover he might
be gay. The author was well aware of the potential outcome or critics for his
writing, thus he stated in the preface: “There is no such thing as a moral or
an immoral”(line 8), encouraging people not to judge the right or the wrong; “Those
who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.
This is a fault.”(line 5) by this, he suggests that the who criticize art, have
a flawed analyses of it, and those who can see the beauty of art, without
noticing minor flaws, are superior to others; “All art is once surface and
symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.Those who read
the symbol do so at their peril.” (lines 17-19) in the end, Oscar Wilde closes
the preface impling that art is only beauty, and it cannot have a moral or
immoral implication, because it exists only so that other can admire it,
without trying to analyze it profoundly. The deep analysis of a work of art can
bring no good, but can only narrow down its magnificent beauty.
          The plot describes men who have
the same sex desire, therefore challenging the Victorian society. The existence
of men who are presented to the audience as not masculine but who possess
feminine traits, redefine the concept of masculinity and femininity, enlarging
the perspective on the gender issue, and also suggesting that the gender is a social
construct that nobody is born with, thus is can change throughout one’s life.

                               The artist has a
immeasurable admiration for Dorian Grey, which can be considered homoerotic,
even though the author describes the adoration as an expression of aestethicism.
Even though there is no clear evidence of homoeroticism, due to the
circumstance that did not allow a relationship between men, aestheticism can be
used to disguise the erotic feelings. Basil, the man who painted Dorian,
claimed that art cannot express the man’s beauty, and that proves the presence
of aesteticism in the relationship of the two men. However, there are a few
contradictions in Basil’s claims. When he first met Dorian, he state to have
absorbed his nature “his whole soul, his very art itself”(13), suggesting that
he was completely overwhelmed. Beause of his attachment, saying that he put too
much of himself in the paiting and also that if the painter did his work with
passion and feelings, then his work no longer belongs to “the sitte” but only
to himself. However, there is a contradiction to his saying, when he claims
that “we live in an age when men treat art as if it were a meant to be a form
of autobiography … we have lost the abstract sense of beauty”, suggesting
that he is confused by his feelings towards the young man.
               There seems to be a
relationship between both Basil and Lord Henry with Dorian, however, the
connection with the latter is different and more special. When he admires the
man’s beauty, he praises it and his youth, claiming that it’s “one thing worth
having”(29), and he also advises him to use the two for his benefit, for as
long as he has them: “You have only a few years in which to live really,
perfectly and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and
then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you”,
emphasizing his physical beauty and the purpose for which he can use it, subtly
proving his erotic views towards Dorian. Lord Henry also play the role of the
teacher for the man,  which empowers him
even more and brings him pleasure “with his subtle smile, Lord Henry watched
him. He knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing … he
was amazed at the sudden impression his words had produced…” (27), the quote
suggest that his control bring him an immense pleasure that that he would even
dominate him and “He would make that wonderful spirit his own” 46.
              The young man is aware of
the effect that Lord Henry has on him: “why had it been left for a stranger
to reveal him to himself”(29), suggesting that he didn’t discover anything new
about him, but he only revealed a characteristic that was already there. And he
also mentioned that “terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the
terror of God,which is the secret of religion … are the two things that
govern us” (25) impling that one cannot live the way he wishes because it might
be judged upon, and therefore proving again the homoerotic character of the
novel.
               The extern pressure
overwhelmes Dorian, and drives him into thinking that he lived a immoral live
which brought same to him, and that could be only because of Basil and Lord
Henry’s influence of disclosing himself.
              As a conclusion, the
concept of gender in the novel has changed, challenging that Victorian rules
and proving that if one exposes his deepest feelings and frees them, he will
eventually be doomed.

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