Three Main Characters’ Deaths in The Picture of Dian Gray毕业论文_英语毕业论文

Three Main Characters’ Deaths in The Picture of Dian Gray毕业论文


摘 要




  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 2
  3. 2.1 Death of Sibyl Vane 2

2.1.1 Sibyl Vane’s suicide and reasons 2

2.1.2 Significance of Sibyl Vane’s death 4

2.2 Death of Basil Hallward 4

2.2.1 Basil Hallward’s death 5

2.2.2 Significance of Basil Hallward’s death 6

2.3 Death of Dorian Gray 7

2.3.1 The reason why Dorian destroyed his picture 7

2.3.2 Significance of Dorian Gray’s death 8

3. Conclusion 9

Works Cited 10

Bibliography 11

Three deaths in The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Introduction

Oscar Wilde(1854-1900), one of the most celebrated greatest writers and artists in Irish literature, brings readers a series of successful and sometimes innovative productions of different genres, especially plays. He is regarded as one of the most representative proponents for the movement of Aestheticism. He believes in principle “art for art’s sake” and practices it not only in his personal life but also in his works.

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde’s only novel, has been considered as one of the most successful works in literature of the 19th century. In this novel, Wilde expresses his confusion and exploration of homosexual and aesthetic visions. The story mainly tells the degenerate life of Dorian Gray, who sells his soul to the devil in order to gain forever beauty. The book was a shock and its author Oscar Wilde became attractive. This work has been regarded as Wilde’s typical work of aestheticism. In the letter Oscar Wilde wrote to Conan Doyle in April 1891, Wilde expresses his unsatisfactory of the newspapers to his friend. He thought that his only purpose in writing the book is to create art, and could not understand that why the worldly people treated his book as immoral. It’s easy to observe the ethics The Picture of Dorian Gray reflected contrast the moral standards of Wilde’s time.

In this novel, death, as a recurrent motif, plays a crucial part in characterization, and plot development. The deaths of Sibyl Vane, Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray, these three plots push forward the progress of the novel. As a major character, Dorian Gray was a very good-looking young man and his charm gave inspirations to the actress Sibyl Vane and his painted friend Basil Hallward. The conflicts in the novel are mainly on the three main characters’ death- Sibyl Vane, Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray, cruel to the actress Sibyl Vane who loved him very much, leads the suicide of Sibyl. Dorian also killed Basil Hallward to make sure nobody knows his dirty secret. Finally, Dorian’s life ends in death. Therefore, a detailed study of death motif in this novel helps better understand the thematic expressions as well as the aesthetic value of Oscar Wilde.

The whole thesis will be divided into three parts, each part dealing with one death of three main characters. The first study will analyze the details and reasons of Sibyl Vane’s suicide and how it contributes to the theme of the whole novel. The second will study the death of Basil Hallward’s. The last part will be devoted to the exploration of the death of Dorian Gray. When studying the motif of death, I will put focus on the reasons of their deaths and how the death motif contributes to the characterization, plot development and thematic expressions of this novel these plots push forward the progress.

  1. Demonstration

2.1 Death of Sibyl Vane

Basically, Oscar Wilde described Sibyl Vane’s suicide as “Art for Art’s Sake” because she stood for beauty. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde described, “image a girl, hardly seventeen years of age, with a little, flower-like face, a small Greek head with plaited coils of dark-brown hair, eyes that were violet wells of passion, lips that were like the petals of rose.”(Wilde 78) Her suicide just showed the author’s insisting on art.

2.1.1 Sibyl Vane’s suicide and reasons

The relationship between them two was complicated which indirectly led to Sibyl’s suicide. Dorian said that Sibyl was the loveliest thing he had ever seen in his life. Sibyl had a wonderful voice like nightingale and talent in play. Dorian and Sibyl loved each other very much at the first sight.

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