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Is this 'good' or natural one might ask, if Basil is one of the moral characters of the book and defying nature and wishing for eternal youth is immoral? Henry's counsel to Dorian that Dorian yield to his every natural temptation and not bow down to societal morality could be seen as an endorsement of the natural, but Henry also celebrates youth to an unnatural, unchanging degree and he too falls in love with Dorian's image before Dorian. Also, Henry, like Basil, is clearly amoral and self-interested himself, as seen in his disapproval that Dorian's impulses do not conform to Henry's own when Dorian is attracted to a pretty young actress.
Henry is a tempting figure, like Mephistopheles, but Dorian easily outdoes him in 'evil' or transgressions and unnaturalness. Dorian's love of youth, spawned by Henry, takes on a life of its own, just like Faustus' taunting of nature and…… [Read More]
He has tried to live a life of pure pleasure with no concern for others, but he cannot escape his own fear, because he knows all the wrongs he has done. The ultimate sin was killing the only person who ever saw true beauty in him.
For its time, this book was extremely well done, and the writing cannot be faulted in the light of Victorian English literature. The story, in fact, is still a good tale, but the long passages of exposition, even in the guise of conversation, makes it difficult for today's audience to read. It is so full of discussions of philosophy and morality that I have to suspect that it was intentionally done to point out the excessive moralizing in much Victorian literature. Nearly every rule of political correctness is broken by one or more of the characters. Yet the story underlying the whole is compelling.…… [Read More]
This literary parallel also underlined in the final description of the portrait of what Dorian Gray has become at the end of the book, Chapter 20: "The thing was still loathsome -- more loathsome, if possible, than before -- and the scarlet dew that spotted the hand seemed brighter, and more like blood newly spilled. Then he trembled. Had it been merely vanity that had made him do his one good deed? Or the desire for a new sensation, as Lord Henry had hinted, with his mocking laugh?"
Again, there is scarlet, but this is the scarlet of blood letting, not an innocent blush of the young Dorian's lips. Once again, at the words of Lord Henry, even the older and more jaded Dorian is moved to tremble. He blanches at the sight of the picture, but for a different reason, because he can see the monster he has become,…… [Read More]
Queer Theory and Oscar Wilde
Analysis of "Queer Theory" by Annamarie Jagose in relation to Dorian Gray's character in "The picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
In her discussion of "Queer theory," author Annamarie Jagose provides a distinction between the concepts 'queer' and the dichotomous relationship between 'lesbian' and 'gay.' Jagose argued in her discussion of this theory that queer was a concept that had politically evolved through the years in relation to the proliferation of gay and lesbian studies.
What makes the queer concept vital to the study of gays and lesbians, as well as issues of homosexuality and heterosexuality is that it provides a 'gray area' in which no distinctions between male and female and gay and lesbian are found. Queer appeals to the 20th century philosophers and social scientists simply because it offers an avenue through which gender and sex can be discussed without the political…… [Read More]
role of religion in the history of European society is a tumultuous one. Christianity, from its obscure beginnings in the classical age, eventually took the reins as the centerpiece of philosophical, literary, and scientific thought. It is true that religion, often, tends to justify actions that might objectively be perceived as incongruous to the established faith. It has historically been the case that when traditional forms of worship become threatened, morally questionable methods are undertaken to strengthen the order. This is certainly the case with Christianity. Since the birth of the Catholic Church in the Roman Empire, Church officials have actively attempted to make their privileged positions in society impervious to assault -- this process has progressed for centuries and, indeed, tens of centuries. For many years this single faith dominated nearly every aspect of European society and was a strong force in maintaining the status quo. However, the many…… [Read More]
homosexual practices might have begun in the early centuries, the word "sodomy" was first used by a Catholic missionary, now a saint, Father Peter Damien around 1050. y sodomy, he meant masturbation and anal intercourse between men, a sin he condemned as the most perverse of sexual sins in his long letter to the Pope, entitled "the ook of Gomorrah." He emphasized that God designed sex exclusively for procreation and that the enjoyment of the sexual act outside this divine purpose was unnatural and therefore summarily grievously and wickedly sinful.
The unnaturalness of sodomy remained more or less the same through the centuries, till the 1700s when the so-called modern homosexual subcultures made themselves visible in London, Paris and Amsterdam. The rest soon perceived them as "sodomites (who were merely) ... constitutionally different from other men" (Wikholm 1999) and effeminate woman-haters who refused to have sex with women. Things were…… [Read More]
It was also during this time that he started keeping a diary. The entry for that day is very relevant as to our attempt to understand what drove Orton to join the theater in hopes of an acting career. During the time he spent with the amateur theater company, Orton decided that he wanted to pursue a career in acting, and that his first step towards achieving this goal was to go to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: "Last night sitting in the empty theatre watching the electricians flashing lights on and off, the empty stage waiting for rehearsal to begin, I suddenly knew that my ambition is, and always has been, to act." (Diary entry, April 13th, 1949: Joe Orton Online)
He quit the amateur acting company after his first role because he was not offered any other substantial roles. Although he got accepted into the Royal Academy…… [Read More]
" (4) it is unclear how to understand "things are because we see them." Traditionally perception is conceived as a passive process: we open our eyes and receive input from the world. Kant suggests that perhaps it is not so passive: we "organize" the world into temporal and spatial dimensions, attribute cause and effect, etc. But what Wilde suggests here is even more radical. The "things are because" suggests a causal relationship, such that what we see exists as an effect of seeing. It would be as if looking "paints" the world. But this is completely absurd. Onto what would seeing "paint" the world? and, even weirder, notice that it wouldn't be that seeing paints the world so that we could then look at what was painted. Rather, it would be that seeing is painting, so that we always see and paint simultaneously, always just "creating" whatever we see, under…… [Read More]
Visual Imagery and Qualitative Dimensions of Life & Consciousness in Visual Art
Throughout history all cultures have produced works of art. The impulse to create as a means of personal expression and to stimulate the imagination of viewers is universal and perpetual. In their various manifestations, the arts play an important role in defining culture by presenting intelligent viewpoints of our present state of being, and by serving as a record of our past. The visual arts are a repository of those qualitative dimensions of life, which enhance our consciousness through the use of visual imagery.
The most exquisite expression of the self is through art, be it literature, history theatre, painting, sculptor and so on. From the wondrous Egyptian pyramids to the majestic statue of liberty, from eloquent Greek writer Homer - who produced masterpieces like the Odyssey - to 20th century literati like Palestinian journalist Edward Said -…… [Read More]
Law Enforcement Opinion
This report will cover a topic that has always been controversial. However, there have been some events as of late, most of them racially and otherwise socially charged, that have forced the argument the subject firmly back into the forefront. Of course, that topic would be law enforcement. While gun violence, politics and so forth are all the rage in the modern blogosphere and social media realms, the topic of law enforcement is high on the minds of many regular people and activists due to, among other things, the events and details surrounding what happened to people like Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and so forth. There are plenty of talking heads that would paint the police as abusive and authoritarians. However, that is far from being the true picture that should be painted and this report shall aim to fill in the rest of the…… [Read More]
Ultimately, Mrs. Dalloway's opinion of herself is highest when she is giving parties. Woolf writes, "Every time she gave a party she had this feeling of being something not herself, and that every one was unreal in one way; much more real in another" (Woolf 171). She knows she has a gift for bringing people together, and it is this gift that makes her life worthwhile. It is odd, because the entire reason for her being (at least to her) is superficial and another jab at English society by Woolf. The parties are the grounds for the wealthy to socialize and show off, while they are attended by the low-paid servants, the poor who form the backbone of English society. Ultimately, the novel condemns this society, and Clarissa Dalloway's simple character is at the forefront of this condemnation. Her simplicity and reliance on pleasing others represents all that is wrong…… [Read More]
40"Lie close," Laura said, 41 Pricking up her golden head:
42"We must not look at goblin men, 43We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
46"Come buy," call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
48"Oh," cried Lizzie, "Laura, Laura, 49 You should not peep at goblin men."
Lizzie cover'd up her eyes, 51 Cover'd close lest they should look;
Laura rear'd her glossy head, 53 and whisper'd like the restless brook:
54"Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie, 55 Down the glen tramp little men.
One hauls a basket, 57 One bears a plate, 58 One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Whose grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wind must blow
Through those fruit bushes."
64"No," said Lizzie, "No, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us, 66 Their evil gifts would harm us."…… [Read More]
All without distinction were branded as fanatics and phantasts; not only those, whose wild and exorbitant imaginations had actually engendered only extravagant and grotesque phantasms, and whose productions were, for the most part, poor copies and gross caricatures of genuine inspiration; but the truly inspired likewise, the originals themselves. And this for no other reason, but because they were the unlearned, men of humble and obscure occupations. (Coleridge iographia IX)
To a certain extent, Coleridge's polemical point here is consistent with his early radical politics, and his emergence from the lively intellectual community of London's "dissenting academies" at a time when religious non-conformists (like the Unitarian Coleridge) were not permitted to attend Oxford or Cambridge: he is correct that science and philosophy were more active among "humble and obscure" persons, like Joseph Priestley or Anna Letitia arbauld, who had emerged from the dissenting academies because barred (by religion or gender)…… [Read More]