All blogs pertaining to The Picture of Dorian Gray will be posted here.
I love the preface of this novel, where it talks about aesthectism, or ‘art for arts sake.’ Wilde was a huge supporter for the movement, and that’s apparent in this novel. The movement celebrates art and beauty at surface glance; that is to say that the movement does not think art always needs to be about political, social, or religious expression. Sometimes you can celebrate things just because they are beautiful. This is exactly what Basil does with Dorian, and eventually what Dorain does from himself. However, I do find it interesting tha Wilde clearly makes a point to show the dark side of beauty. Maybe this is in efforts to illustrate the dark side of this movement? Or maybe it is to show that an artistic lifestyle and real life should be lead separately. Either way, I’m excited of the Victoria and Albert museum. I just read that th should ave a section on aestheticism.
Even ad I say that, I’m reminded of the museum today. You could see the movement springing up at the end of the Victorian period. There was a room modeled in the style of aestheticism and was described as a room that a young artistic couple would have lived in. Having the picture of that room in my head makes It easy to I imagine the homes of the characters in this novel.
Especially after visiting the Tate museum today, I began to reevaluate Wilde’s commentary on aestheticism in the novel. When looking at art from the period, and thinking about the ways in which we have already discussed he movement, we all know that the focus is on beauty. Furthermore, it seems that ther is an even highe respect for beauty in youth. The part about youth concerns me and raises questions. What happens to these young, beautiful, artistic types who are involved in the movement when they get old? Is their beauty diminished? This concept would fit into the novel since the idea of th artwork aging and not Dorian seems almost contradictory. Yes, I understand that Dorian is so beautiful, he is the true piece of art. BUT, maybe Wilde is starting to question his support of a movement based around beautiful youths when he himself is aging. I think the entire novel could be representative of this notion, espcially when Dorian, in a sick way, comes to terms with his aging and destroys the painting. It makes the artistic movement seem a little backwards. Why would you join a group that despises something that is enevitable for everyone? Then again, maybe is the irony of it all that makes it so popular.
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