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Symbolism in The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a classic tale of good verses evil The main character of the novel is Dorian Gray At first Dorian is a young handsome sweet and gentle boy He meets Basil Hallward a painter who becomes infatuated with him Basil is the good symbolically Christ-like figure in the story He is in love with Dorians beauty and good nature It is Basil who makes the mistake of introducing Dorian to Lord Henry Wotton the devil-like tempter Wotton is a bit of a troublemaker He wants to be an amoral member of society but he has not the courage to do it himself He sees in Dorian something similar to what Basil saw in Dorian and that is a canvas with which to work on When Basil paints a wonderful picture of Dorian Lord Henry decides that he will mold Dorian into someone who cares only about pleasure and beauty He tells Dorian that Youth Youth There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth Wilde 28 Lord Henry is symbolic of evil or the devil It is Lord Henry that puts the seed of vanity into Dorian Lord Henry is the one who causes Dorian to only care about himself and to realize that although the painting of him would never age he himself would It is also Lord Henry who trivializes Dorians role in Sibyls death When Dorian first hears of Sibyls death he feels responsible for it at least indirectly When Lord Henry gets through talking about the situation Dorian begins to believe that he had nothing to do with it Dorian becomes indifferent to his part This is the beginning of the downfall of Dorian Gray By this time Basil realizes that once Dorian and Lord Henry start spending more and more time together the farther Dorian moves from him like the closer one
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