The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray: aestheticism and morality College

The Picture of Dorian Gray demonstrates a divide between aestheticism and morality that Oscars Wilde depicts by giving each character a very specific persona that either challenges or indulges in the immoral vices of life. This is all while Dorian remains paralyzed between two very different ideologies. The Freudian concept that within us all is a split between the ID, The Super Ego and the Ego; an inner battle between three distinct mindsets, becomes increasingly obvious as the novel progresses and highlights this war within the mind. Dorian is unable to find an equilibrium between these three subconsciouses; he feels as though he needs to conform and become a hedonistic aesthete like Lord Henry, or lead a life that coincides with the moral idealism Basil represents. If given the opportunity to analyze The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Sigmund Freud would most likely interpret it as an illustration of how his mechanism of understanding human behavior plays out in literature. Charles Darwin would most likely say that Dorian fails to maintain this crucial yin yang balance between aestheticism and morality and inevitably gives into his primitive animalistic instincts. These biologically programmed urges that Dorian acts upon in result...

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