Influences in the Picture of Dorian Gray

  I. Thesis Statement: Influence comes with an onerous price.

  II. Damage is determined by the way in which one is affected by inevitable outside influences.
  a. Dorian’s exposure to outside influences.
  b. Dorian’s corruption and, through him, the corruption of others.

  III. Falling under the influence of idolization comes at the cost of one’s powers of reasoning.
  a. Reasoning behind Basil’s idolization.
  b. Faults in idolization and their consequences.

  IV. Art can exert a detrimental influence.
  a. Dorian’s realization of his own beauty because of the portrait.
  b. The portrait’s scars looming over Dorian.

  V. Conclusion

    Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray depicts a character that barters his soul for eternal youth, and in turn, engages in murder, scandal, and drug abuse. The fall of the protagonist Dorian Gray depicts the way in which individuals are susceptible to deterioration by way of foreign factors. The novel is situated in the influential late-eighteenth century where a pure soul practically cannot elude the deleterious guidance of English society. Wilde characterizes Lord Henry Wotton, Basil Howard, and the portrait of Dorian Gray as contributors to Dorian’s tragic downfall, which suggests influence comes with an onerous price.
    Assuredly, damage is determined by the way in which one is affected by inevitable outside influences.   The novel begins with descriptions of the opulent setting such as “the rich odor of roses” and “long tussore-silk curtains” (Wilde 1), indicating that beauty will significantly influence the novel. Awareness of outside influences is arduous to achieve, considering the numerous ways these stimuli are presented. Perhaps their presence is predestined. Lord Henry Wotton says that there is “something terribly enthralling in the exercise of influence” (39), which may be the reason he styles an instrument out of Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray accepts...