Monday, February 23, 2009

Dorain Gray Fishbowl 9-12

82 comments:

RickM2009 said...

Make a prediction as to what you think will be revealed about Dorian through his diary. Support your prediction.

shellim2009 said...

Dorian will eventually meet his end because of the painting. He is investing too much of his destroyed soul into it, and therefore when it is found and destroyed, Dorian will be ruined.

TaylorS2009 said...

I think that Basil will understand what an ugly person Dorian has ended up becoming and that the story will somehow climax and begin the descent of Dorian's supposed beauty.

KendraS2009 said...

Inner Circle: So far in the book, Basil and Dorian seem to have a falling out. Basil seems really mad about how Dorian is changing. Dorian has his painting locked up. There are a bunch of rumors about Dorian.

Lauren L said...

Colors can be expressions of ones mood. This is going well...

Knicastro said...

I think that the diary will show that he is only being friends with these people to study them. So basically he's just studying them.

shellim2009 said...

What will Basil see in Dorian's portrait? Will he see the same depiction of Dorian's soul that Dorain sees?

Knicastro said...

that was to rick by the way

Kim C. 2010 said...

I think that Dorian is going to start to really understand who he is as a person now that he has the time to write down his thoughts.

JakeF said...

We can already kind of see why he does not want the picture to be seen, but i think there will be more depth to as why it will be a secret. Also i think it will show how he truly feels about Lord Henry and Basil.

KendraS2009 said...

Shelli: I agree that when the painting is destroyed, Dorian will also be destroyed. The painting is the cause of Dorian's downfall.

shellim2009 said...

Kendra: Do you think that the painting is the SOURCE of Dorian's destroyed soul and possible downfall?

JakeF said...

Lord Henry instills all these emotions and theories in to him and he lets this affect his feelings of Sybil, but i feel he truly has sorrow for her but he his attempting to not feel the emotions that he is really feeling.

Lauren L said...

Has Dorian ever really had a personality or has people created one for him?

Knicastro said...

eric- no. I think that Henry has pretty much brainwashed him and he doesn't really feel about her death

KendraS2009 said...

Is what Dorian sees in the painting because of his own imagination and because he knows what he has done, or is the painting actually changing for everyone else to see as well? Has Dorian changed so much that he is in a sense going crazy?

Knicastro said...

sorry again, that was to Jake

JakeF said...

Shelli
i dont think he will see the same thing that Dorian sees. He wont because Dorian is creating all types of notions and things from the picture that may not actually be there. I feel that Basil will see what he wants to see, that it is still beautifull.

TaylorS2009 said...

I don't think Dorian really does have a personality. He has been completely sculpted by the people around him. If someone gets told they are so beautiful and perfect, of course it is going to stick in their head and they will begin to believe it. Dorian isn't really a person, just an empty shell in my eyes.

Kim C. 2010 said...

inner circle: going along with Drew's comment about why would Dorian want a picture of Sybil if he didn't care about her...

I think that Dorian does care about her he was having the romantic feelings about Sybil and he shows that he cares about the beauty aspect of everything. Dorian is so naive and you can tell that he is trying to please Lord Henry, however he is not as light morally as Lord Henry, and so he is having trouble with the death of Sybil.

Lauren L said...

QUESTION!!!

If the picture was destroyed do you think Dorian Grey would in a sense be destroyed also?

Knicastro said...

Kendra- I think what he sees in the painting is based off of his emotions at the time. So when he's feeling good about himself he looks back at the picture and likes how much he has advanced since then. But when he's feeling old he gets angry at the picture.

annes said...

Lauren- you commented about colors. Explain. How can colors show mood? What colors have you seen so far?

annes said...

Shelli- I think you are making a good point about what Basil (not the spice) will see in the portrait. Think about him being the "creator" of Dorian. What does the "Creator" think of his creation? Do you see any Biblical significance?

KendraS2009 said...

Shelli: The painting may not have been the true source but it definetly contributed to it. The painting seemed to be when Dorian discovered his good looks and vanity and how he did not ever want to lose that because it meant so much to him. In this way, he lost his innocence and through losing his innocence, went on a downward spiral to start becoming a bad person.

Kim C. 2010 said...

I agree with Taylor, and I think that Dorian is really impressionable, and he likes to please, but now as he is following Lord Henry who doesn't have the same moral values and a good societial view, he seems really dark and mis-understood if you will. I don't think Dorian's actions really reflect Dorian's true self.

annes said...

Can Dorian ever move past Lord Henry?

annes said...

Why does Dorian use the word fascinating about the book Lord Henry gave him? Why does he not just say he liked it? or it was a good book?

KendraS2009 said...

AnneS: Dorian has to decide that he can rise above Lord Henry's influence. He just does not seem to be a strong enough person to be able to do that.

TaylorS2009 said...

I think Dorian will eventually try to break free from the picture, Lord Henry and Basil. There is only so much a person can take of watching themselves be destroyed. I am reminded of the Tell Tale Heart and how the character was perfectly fine with himself until he finally just snapped. I can see this happening to Dorian. Only I think he is going to go after those he sees responsible, and not himself.

Kim C. 2010 said...

Anne:

I'm not sure if Dorian will ever be able to get over Lord Henry. You can see very early on, that Dorian loves Lord Henry's words, and he follows his words way too well. It really seems like he's stuck on Lord Henry and he can't seem to get over him.

Eric said...

Annes. When someone uses the word fascinating it is one of great admiration and I feel its becasue he adores Lord Henry and he shows that he really likes that book and its special to him becasue Lord Henry gave it to him.

Eric said...

This is just a thought I dunno but in the movie fight club the acter just imagines this other person and what he sees is his own personality and the person he wants to be. Is this what is maybe going on with Dorain and Basil? Basil is just imagening this person?

KendraS2009 said...

Taylor: I agree that Dorian will eventually try to break free. He is already getting very upset by how his portrait appears. He is so obsessed with his beauty that even though it is not his physical face, he cannot stand to see himself look like that. He will eventually snap and have to get out of his current situation.

KatieO2010 said...

To go off the idea last fishbowl presented about Narcissus, we looked up the myth of Narcissus on Wikipedia and found this regarding the Hellenic version of the tale:

"This is a moral tale in which the proud and unfeeling Narcissus is punished by the gods for having spurned all his male suitors. It is thought to have been intended as a cautionary tale addressed to young men. Until recently, the only source for this version was a segment in Pausanias (9.31.7), about 150 years after Ovid. A very similar account was discovered among the Oxyrhynchus papyri in 2004, an account that predates Ovid's version by at least fifty years and is thought to have been recorded by Parthenius.

In this story, Ameinias, a young man, loved Narcissus but was scorned. As a way of rebuffing Ameinias, Narcissus gave him a sword, which Ameinias used to kill himself on Narcissus' doorstep; he prayed to Nemesis that Narcissus would one day know the pain of unrequited love. This curse was fulfilled when Narcissus became entranced by his own reflection in a pool. Completing the symmetry of the tale, overcome by repentance, Narcissus took his sword and killed himself. [1] "

-How does the Hellenic version of the myth of Narcissus relate to Dorian Gray?

annes said...

So, is Dorian just a fascination of Lord Henry and Basil? Is he just something to "play" with? to be experiemented on? What is the reason why Dorian and Basil/Lord Henry keep up the relationsip?

Knicastro said...

Drew- I think that was an undercurrented comment about what Henry thinks of Dorian. He doesn't necessarily like him but he always says that dorian is fasinating. But I disagree with drew in that I think that fasinating is not a step up from liking, I think it's a step down.

shellim2009 said...

annes: I think that Dorian is falling away from the love of his creator. He is offered the yellow book by Harry, and Dorian accepts it. After reading this book, Dorian found that "Things of which he had never dreamed were gradually revealed" (p.141 in my book). Dorian's soul "... had been poisoned by a book." (p. 165 in my book) just like Adam and Eve were corrupted by the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So, is that the significance of the book and is Basil going to play God when he looks upon Dorian's soul in the portrait HE painted? I don't know...

Kim C. 2010 said...

I really don't think that Narcissis or whatever, applies to Dorian in the sense that he is in love with himself, however it seems like he definately does have a fascination with his own beauty and hes always looking for beauty in life, however this doesn't add to a sense of self-love, because Dorian really just seems to be losing interest in himself, and gaining it else where.

annes said...

Shelli- so could Basil be the creator? Is he like God and sees us (Dorian) as he truly is? Dorian cannot hide from his creator his true being? Where as LH knows how to corrupt Dorian and knows how to tempt him?

annes said...

Drew brings up a good point- what is the point of this book? What if there is no consequence at the end of this book? How would that change the story?

KendraS2009 said...

Katie: That legend relates a lot to this book. Sibyl killed herself over her love, obsession, and then rejection from Dorian. Dorian is like Narcissus and loves his looks.

Kim C. 2010 said...

Dorian is very much the silly putty of this book. People can make him or break him with their words and he is too naive to think for himself. All of the time he quotes Lord Henry and its getting really annoying.

shellim2009 said...

annes: That is very true... and Basil as the creator wants to see the best in Dorian (everyone) even if he knows their soul is corrupt. He wants us to be the best we can be, but he is still willing to search our soul for the truth.

TaylorS2009 said...

Annes - I think the whole point of this book is just that society is what molds us into who we think we are. There are so many expectations on people. I can see Oscar Wilde writing this book for that purpose because he is in jail for basically breaking free of what is expected of him.

RickM2009 said...

anne: If there were no consequences at the end of the book, that would relate to the question you asked before we started reading. If you could do anything without any consequences, would you do it? If there are no consequences, I believe Wilde's message would relate to some of the responses to this question.

Kim C. 2010 said...

I think that the point of the book is to show just how far society can be played with. It seems like it's a warning for those impressionable little people who are brainless and conform to everything that everyone else is doing. The difference in this book is that it seems like Dorian is conforming to the worst image possible, he is young and he is already digging himself a hole, with Sybil and with Basil.

KendraS2009 said...

Annes: I think that Lord Henry may see Dorian as someone to play with and experiment on. Lord Henry uses his influence over Dorian a lot. Dorian keeps up the relationship because he is under Lord Henry's influence. He likes what Lord Henry tells him and really just likes Lord Henry in general.

shellim2009 said...

Since Dorian can't age right now, is the way he is living his life taking him down a path that will eventually lead him to a premature death?

LaurenB2009 said...

Do you think Dorian uses the painting as a scapegoat? Why or why not?

annes said...

Kim- do you think DG will turn into LH and eventually become him or surpass him? DG would eventually mold LH?

JakeF said...

talking about how society is impressionable it makes me think that there are two types of people. Puppets and Puppetiers. You can either manipulate people or be manippulated. just a thought.

Kim C. 2010 said...

Inner Circle:

What is the importances of Societial Standards?
Why do we have them?
How do we see this in Dorian Gray?
Do you agree with our societal mold?

Kim C. 2010 said...

Anne:

I really hope not because I really don't like Lord Henry, however I really think that he will in a sense become Lord Henry, however, I think he has a care for people That LH doesn't have and that might create his downfall.

annes said...

Jake- good observation. so, in DG who are the puppets and puppetiers? Can yo change roles? Can puppets become puppetiers? and puppetiers puppets?

Kim C. 2010 said...

How does Sybil relate to Ophelia?

rruggles said...

from DonnaH
Is our society more or less restrictive than the society of Dorian's time? Do we have more freedom of choice even wthough we are influenced more by outside "forces"?

KendraS2009 said...

LaurenB: Dorian may use the painting as a scapegoat. He may just let himself go enough and get to the point where he realizes he will always be beautiful and anything he does will only appear on the portrait. Because of this, Dorian can do pretty much anything he wants to and not get caught because the evidence appears only on the portrait.

annes said...

Donna- overall I think the society today is less restrictive but with more consequences. When you fall from society today, you REALLY fall. In Victorian society, there was little world wide knowledge of our acts.

Knicastro said...

Lauren- What do you mean by using it as a scapegoat?

annes said...

What's the point of chapter 11?

Lauren L said...

I think that part of the book is pointless. It was useless information that maybe was used to be like there is nothing beautiful about dorian. We dont care about his feelings we care about the outside.

KaitlanW2009 said...

Kim: I think it's hard to determine the importance of societal standards. Maybe they are here to keep the world moving, we don't know. Would people keep moving forward, and do things such as go to college if there were no standards telling them to. Like Tom said I think there is both good and bad that come out of societies standards, and people trying to rebel against them.

LaurenB2009 said...

Kendra: Does/will Dorian regret his decission to stay beautiful? from what we have learned from the afterlife unit it seems that everyone eventually regrets selling tehir soul.

Kim C. 2010 said...

I honestly think that Dorian's society was alot less restrictive than present day society. This is because they didn't have celebrities that they looked up to, they came up with strong ideas by themselves, and they seemed to have time to analyze more, they took the time to "stop and smell the roses" however now we are all focused on the goal, how to get from point A to point B, and our impatience makes us miss out on important things in life.

TaylorS2009 said...

Dorian's society was in a sense less restrictive. Yes, we don't have tea time and all that stuff. But we have the media constantly pounding into our heads the ideals that are 'acceptable.' Also, in this society, you aren't just shunned if you are different. You are essentially spot lighted and then made fun of in a way to attempt to shape you into what they want.

Knicastro said...

anne- The point of chapter eleven is to show Dorians interest in beauty and how it extends beyond himself into history.

shellim2009 said...

Donna:
I don't think society has changed that much to be honest. Though the people of Dorian's time were all about tradition, I don't think they are much more strict than the world of today. We still have people like Hollywood who forces many to resort to drastic tactics in order to stay young, thin, and beautiful.

JakeF said...

Anne
it makes me wonder if anything happeneing to him during his stay in jail correlates to how he is writing. Maybe some one had read what he wrote so far and didnt like it and put down Oscar Wilde and so Wilde got bored with continuing this novel thus writing the prolonged chapter 11.

KendraS2009 said...

LaurenB: I predict that something bad happens from this whole situation. I believe that Dorian will eventually regret his decision to stay young forever. Although it seemed good at the time, it will eventually backfire on him.

TomB said...

i didn't have the chance to bring this up in the main discussion, but would you say that there is some significance in the fact that the book has no name? in the 1800s i see the book as a direct symbol for knowledge. for the influence of the past. the fact that it has no name could be an allusion to dorian being influenced by the knowledge that is presented to him to feed his vanity

MackenzieL2009 said...

It sounds like you guys had a good discussion!

AnneS:
You asked what the point was of chapter 11. I think that chapter 11 gave us an idea of what Dorain did while he was not changing, at least on the outside. Dorian was so beautiful that he was considered perfect, so I think he was fascinated by other perfectly beautiful objects. It also shows us that he DOES recognize evil, but he finds that when evil is on one end of the pendulum, beauty is on the other, so therefore evil is a way of finding beauty.

Kendra:
I think that Dorian realized from the very beginning how terrible the repercussions of the situations could be. Because he keeps checking the portrait and because it always seems to work its way to the front of his mind, he knows that the portrait dominates his life. He knows that he is the way he is because of the portrait and its affects on him, but he also has seccumbed to his fate and almost acts like a drug addict: he knows he has a problem that will eventually lead to his death, but he knows he is helpless so he accepts it.

Anna P2009 said...

I'm sorry I missed this one. It seems like there were many people missing.

Okay on Lauren's comment about colors, I also have noticed colors but more often flowers. Wilde doesn't just say red he talks about flowers that are red. I believe that he does this because Flowers are such a good example of true beauty. There are no ugly flowers, which is how God created them. They are perfect in themselves. Only those who are truly shallow and not beautiful can find faults in flowers.

AnneS: I would've never put it together but Rick has a very good point. The question that you asked us before this entire book was about consequences. I believe that Oscar Wilde wrote this book to show to society what they have become and since Wilde was already in jail and on trial, I think he decided that nothing worse could really happen to him for writing this book.

KatieM2009 said...

To Laurens comment about the destruction of the painting and of the real Dorian Gray. I think that Dorian is living off of that painting so as things happen to the painting they are also happening to the real Dorian, if the painting is destroyed I think Dorian will lose part of himself and his soul will be lost with out the painting in his life.

AnneS: Yes I do think that Dorian is just a thing for Lord Henry and Basil to play with because that is all they are doing to him. They are trying to manipulate him and affect the way he is living his life. They have not shown true interest in his well being or showed true emotion towards him as a person. If either of them truely cared about his well being they would show that emotion towards Dorian but I feel like I have yet to see that true caring that comes from a real friendship.

Lauren L: I think Dorian had a true personality before Basil and Lord Henry came about but because he was young, he was easily influenced by their age and power. He hid is true personality because he was scared that he would be jugded by these men that he was impressed by. Because he put his true personality in the back seat, he gave these two gentleman the chance to create a new personality for him, so now he is struggling between the true Dorian and the Dorian that everyone has created and wants him to be.

Pat said...

I am sorry I missed this fishbowl… it seemed like a good one! I just had a couple of comments regarding this discussion…

Lauren- I agree that colors can be an expression of mood. I think the yellow book plays into this idea really well. Yellow is a color that represents jealously so I believe this relates to Dorian. As Dorian reads the book he realizes the character is very similar to him. Yes he has the youth and the outer beauty but he lacks the inner beauty which he is becoming very jealous of. He is learning that his friends are disappearing as the years fly by leaving him to be empty and alone. I think he is coming to the realization that inner beauty is more valuable than outer appearances.

Shelli- I believe that only Dorian sees the changing painting. My prediction is that Basil will see no changes in the painting leading Dorian to go mad. I think his views of the painting are being distorted by his inner feelings which are creating the decay of the painting. The painting is how Dorian sees himself through his own eyes creating a horrific image based on Dorian’s selfish actions. Dorian is getting obsessed with his outer appearance and is trying to hide his devilish inside. This overwhelming fear I believe is what is creating Dorian to go crazy and giving him hallucinations.

AdrienneB2009 said...

This fishbowl sounds so exciting!!!

I think Dorian's downfall is near becasue even beautiful pictures fade.

What's the point?
Beautiful writing.
Dorian's inner conflict: does he follow Lord Henry's bread crumbs of self- obsession or acknowledge his, so far, negative effect on other's? I find his inner conflict...BORING!
I find it hard to relate and feel no pity for him. He acts blind to his efforts of soul searching but is in everything for himself. After seeing more of Wilde in Dorian than Lord H, the purpose of this book is proving beauty in art. Dorian is Wilde's "Art for art's sake" and the benefiting art is a book of eloquence and satyrical proof that "All art is quite useless." I've gotten lost in the rest of the book but I can't escape the words of the Preface. I wonder if this is Wilde's "portrait"--his effort to preserve himself. But which art suffers, losing its innocence through the effects of society's critics? His book or him (Wilde)? Is Wilde his own toughest critic?

SaraB2009 said...

Shelli: I do not think that it will lead to a premature death, but I think it could eventually lead to his downfall and possibly suicide.

SaraB2009 said...

I am very disappointed that I missed this fishbowl, it sounded so interesting.

I think that in the end Dorian will end up losing all of his friends and the people around him due to his obsession with his looks. I also agree with many that the painting will his downfall. His obsession with looking at it and hiding it from others could lead to something, such as someone seeing the picture, therefor making Dorian go crazy because he knows that his secret is out.

HaileyM2009 said...

I missed the fishbowl too--sad day!

To Lauren L--I think Dorian’s personality is fairly evident even in the lack of his own personality he has retained. The biggest indicator to Dorian Gray’s personality is how easily his personality is molded. It says a lot about him when he so quickly succumbs to Lord Henry’s influence. However, can any of us say that we are any different? I think everyone’s personality comes from the influences they’ve had in their own lives. As Lord Henry says earlier in the book: “There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral--immoral from the scientific point of view...Because to influence a person is to give him one’s soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed.” Yet, which of us can say that we think and say and act on our own ideas and passions? Where have our passions come from? Only a man on a deserted island could truly say his passions and thoughts are his own, and even then he has been molded by the lack of influence in his life.
To AnneS--Though I know the ending already, I still feel that Dorian had the power to move past Lord Henry. This would only have been possible if he had moved on to a different person as his chief source of opinions and thought, or if he had started developing his own thoughts and ideas. While he could think without Lord Henry, it was evident that he continually went back to him and drew his own character from him. It would’ve only been possible for him to move past him if he had first realized he was stuck on him and worked to move on.
In turn, Dorian is more than a fascination to Basil and Harry. Basil believes him to be a friend and even an ideal of humanity until he discovers the truth behind Dorian’s pretty face. This is when he is more friend to Dorian, trying to get him to pray for salvation. Maybe he was never even a friend, just someone convinced in Dorian’s perfection and convinced in (or desperate for) Dorian’s ability to return to such perfection.
For Harry, however, Dorian started as someone to play with and to mold. However, as Dorian’s beauty remained unchanged, Harry remained by his side. However, I think Harry has also started to rely on Dorian, though not as much as Dorian relies on him. He has shaped Dorian to become too much like himself to leave him.

Also to AnneS--the point of chapter eleven: while this chapter was long and slightly tedious, I didn’t find it boring. I think the point of this chapter was to expand on Dorian’s life of hedonism and show his lack of restraint and limitations. It also shows how much he enjoys learning about his 5 senses.

jordan s said...

I think that much like in Crime and Punishment, Dorians self-absorbtion will lead him through a progressive psychosis. At the end the only option is to seek repentance for one's sin. I think that for Dorian, the only way he can rid himself of his character flaw may be death, to eliminate the evil that exists within him. If you look at the journey he has taken already, he is only falling deeper into his narcissism, maybe when he reaches the bottom, there will be no way to resurface.

jordan s said...

To answer AnneS: The point of chapter 11 is to seperate the readers from the analysts. On the surface, it seems that Wilde is writing tediously, just showing off his knowledge on these subjects in detail. Beneath the surface, one can see that Wilde is too great of a writer to just show off his knowledge rather, they serve to transport the reader into Dorian's chosen path. He moves from one part of his life to another on a whim, yet is still tightly tethered to the portrait. Dorian lives in a guilded cage, prisoner of his passions and his fears.

Steven W said...

In reference to Jake's point about Lord Henry's influence on Dorian. I think that Dorian has many opportunities to regain his conscience but chooses not to and take the easier path. Dorian felt regret after telling Sybil that she was nothing to him. Her death weighed heavy on his soul however instead of actually acting on those emotions he shrugged them off and continued his pursuit of pleasure. his second profound opportunity is after killing Basil he again feels regret but in stead of addressing the issue he simply hides the problem so seemingly nothing is wrong again. I think Dorian deep down wants everything to be fix everything to be better but is unwilling to take the steps necessary to accomplish this. More or less I feel that the portrait is merely a depiction of Dorian conscience not his actual soul.