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The story tells readers about its protagonist, Dorian Gray’s life, which was full of immorality and corruption as a result of seeking outward beauty and pleasure.
The former is between Dorian and two beautiful women and the latter is between Dorian and Basil Hallward/Lord Henry Wotton.
This essay will try to show how Wilde explores the meaning of beauty through comparing these two worlds.
These two characters are artistic and intellectual like Wilde, and Wilde claims that “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me” (Ross 5).
Because of his aesthetic taste and flamboyant style, people often consider Wilde as a pleasure-seeking type of person such as Dorian or Lord Henry.
Basil’s affection towards Dorian seems to arise out of genuine love since his admonitions for Dorian are given so that he can find his soul.
Lord Henry, on the other hand, merely aggravates Dorian’s obsession with his outer beauty and his thirst for pleasure.
The novel presents the reader with these two opposed values.
We could read this novel as a statement that true beauty exists, but can be corrupted by immoral influences.
Judging from this fact, the name ‘Dorian’ represents the relationship of Wilde and John Gray, an older man teaches tips of life to his innocent young lover.
In addition to this, the suggestive name also shows the relationships between the characters of this novel, Basil and Dorian, also Harry and Dorian, the older intellectuals and the ‘brainless’ youth.