Friday, February 13, 2009

Dorian Gray 1-3 Fishbowl

119 comments:

LaurenB2009 said...

Why do you think Wilde writes the Preface different than the first three chapters we have read?

AdrienneB2009 said...

Lauren B: The preface sets the mood. Is he being sarcastic or serious? It varies between who is interpreting it.

LaurenB2009 said...

Adrienne: I feel like Wilde is being very sarcastic almost as if he is making fun of art in general although he is an artist himself.

RickM2009 said...

@Lauren- I believe Wilde has written the story differently from the preface because the preface is meant to be an introduction to the rest of the book. I also saw lines from the preface in the story, which is an interesting use foreshadowing.

KendraS2009 said...

Lauren B: i agree that he is being mostly sarcastic. He seems to be making fun of all art in calling it useless.

SarahE2010 said...

I think he writes the preface this way because he is giving an overview of how the novel will be. For example, I feel like he is forshadowing how the tone will change as the novel progresses.

kaytlinr said...

Adrienne B,

I think that he is being sarcastic. In the first few chapters it seemed like he was jabbing at society and the social norms. So

KendraS2009 said...

The preface seems to be different from the book because it is an introduction. The book is written different because its an actual story versus Wilde's thoughts and feelings about art.

KatieO2010 said...

I cant really tell if he's being sarcastic or not. I think that the preface is the result of an extremley intelligent and philosophical man musing on art. It isn't really sarcasm, it's just him sort of arguing with himself, reflecting on society's view of art and his own.

TomB said...

Looking at the time during which Wilde wrote Dorian Gray, at a time when his own self worth was in question, i think his contradictions and sarcasm are reflections of his inner turmoil from that time in his life. Any artist will secretly question how their work is interpreted by the masses, but few seem to take the road of addressing that insecurity

LaurenB2009 said...

Why do you think that YOUTH is a big theme throughout the first few chapter?

AdrienneB2009 said...

Anna P: The qualities Wilde hates about himself he puts into the disliked character.

KatieM2009 said...

I think he wrote the preface to make the reader think and to use their minds. I don't see the preface either satyrical or not, I just see it as a way to get the reader engaged and to start thinking because this text is going to challenge our minds and be difficult. This gives us a chance to warm up our mind and start thinking deeper into the text.

Pat said...

I believe Oscar Wilde is wrote the preface to set the standard for his book. I think this whole book is to give the message that art is over analyzed and his foreshadowing what happens in the book. My theory is that this painting gets wrapped up in a mystery that isn’t really present.

IreneL2010 said...

Lauren B: I agree with what Sarah E said...the preface really gives the reader a quick summary of the mood and conflicts of the story. I felt that the majority of the writing was serious, but the final line where he says that "all art is useless" is a reflection on how society saw art at that time, not necessarily Wilde.

DrewB2009 said...

Do you think Basil's fetish for Dorian Gray could be a reflection of Oscar Wilde's same sex relationships?

AdrienneB2009 said...

Lauren B: youth is innocence.

SarahE2010 said...

Do you think that Basil's obsession with Dorian a reflection of Wilde's affair with Lord ALfred?

KendraS2009 said...

I think that youth is a big theme because Dorian Gray is conceited. He does not want to get old because he will not be so beautiful. He wants to stay young forever so that he can be beautiful. Dorian's looks seem to be the thing tha matters the most to him.

KatieM2009 said...

Drew- I have never thought about it like that, but yes I do see the connection between Wildes homosexual relationship and the odd obsession that Basil has with Dorian Gray. I do not know where this relationship between Basil and Dorian is going yet but I can possibly see Lord Henry interferring with the relationship that Basil and Dorian Gray have created thus far.

KatieO2010 said...

Lauren- I think youth is not only important in the first few chapters, but in the entire book. I think it will go into youth and the costs of being trying to keep youth.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Drew: I think it is a reflection of Wilde's relationships but also, as an artist, Basil is obsessed with capturing beauty. He just becomes a little possessive of Dorian.

IreneL2010 said...

Drew and Sarah: Personally, I think that this book is a big reflection on Wilde's personal life. He opens the book with a preface that gives the reader and understanding of the culture he is coming from, where people are not very accepting. And I also believe that the relationship between Dorian, Basil, and Lord Henry is a direct reflection of Wilde's own relatioships.

RickM2009 said...

Drew- I think you're on to something with that theory. I would go so far as to make the prediction the Dorian and Basil are in a same-sex relationship, and that is why Basil seemed to feel threatened by Lord Henry.

KendraS2009 said...

I believe that Basil and Dorian Gray are a reflection of Wilde's same sex affair. He wrote Dorian Gray while in prison so I feel like he put a lot of himself into the book.

Pat said...

Lauren- I think youth is being targeted in these first chapters to show how Lord Henry is wrapped up in image. I think Oscar Wilde put this element in this text because he was in the public eye and on trial for the image he presented at the time he wrote this book. Maybe he was going through a mid life crisis as well. idk

LaurenB2009 said...

Why do you think Dorian Gray reacted to Basil's painting the way he did when Gray has been painter numerous times by Basil before?

mollyp2010 said...

Drew: I definitely think that it could be related. I dont think that it is necessarily a direct reflection of Wilde's life, but Im sure that his lifestyle did have something to do with the plot of the book. Also, it seems like lord henry and dorian gray are getting friendly now.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Kenzie: I agree completely! Basil is trying to protect Dorians innocence in his youth. Lord Henry can corrupt Dorian and corrupt the flawless image Basil has of him.

mollyp2010 said...

What do you guys think will happen with Dorian and Henry? It seemed that suprising that dorian would blow basil off...

LaurenB2009 said...

Drew: I believe so far all three characters reflect a different aspect of Wilde. Basil's liking for Dorian Gray is very evident in the first chapter but throughout the next few chapters it's almost as if he becomes annoyed with him.

Pat said...

Does Dorian Gray’s character reflect Oscar Wilde’s family life?

JakeF said...

I think that given Wilde's situation he knew that this book would be very controversial, and so he wrote the preface as way to stick it to critiques. He says that Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. He uses the preface to show that because the critiques don't immediately like it that it is new and it is in fact art.

SarahE2010 said...

Irene: I agree. I almost feel like thebook is Wilde's comment about his love life. I think that Basil represents his wife in the fact that Dorian has become bored with him. Therefore, I think Dorian represents Wilde, and Lord Henry is Lord Alfred.

KendraS2009 said...

Basil says that the picture he painted of Dorian Gray was one of his best works of art he had ever created. Dorian Gray must have been depicted perfectly in the picture. When he saw himself, he realized that his looks mattered to him and that he would not always look like that. He is too caught up in himself and got very upset when he realized he will get old and get some wrinkles.

RickM2009 said...

Molly- It is very surprising to see Dorian blow Basil off for Lord Henry. I believe this is going to be the main conflict of the story.

IreneL2010 said...

Lauren L's inner circle comment: Back during ancient Greek and Roman times, society believed that homosexual relations were more important than the relationships between a man and a woman. They accepted this practice because they thought that a woman's mind could not "handle" the severity and complexity of love like a man could.

I believe that this culture is still very much alive during the Victorian Ages. Any thoughts?

AdrienneB2009 said...

Lauren B: Basil sees in Dorian, everything he wants to see in himself. He is finally percieved the way he wishes to be percieved. Lord Hery may only see Dorian as a beautiful tool and not an innocent soul.

KatieM2009 said...

Molly- I am not sure yet what will happen if anything with Dorian and Henry. Yes, it was shocking that Dorian would blow off Basil after the way their relationship was described in the first chapter. I can possibly see an "affair" of some sort coming out of the wood works from this triangle of relationships, but at this point I am not sure what to think.

LaurenB2009 said...

Molly: I feel like Henry and Dorian have become very fond of each other. So far it's hard to tell whether Henry likes Dorian more than a friend because he is in general a very friendly person.

AdrienneB2009 said...

"He" being Dorian.

SarahE2010 said...

Molly: I think Dorian will end up with Lord Henry, and just leave Basil behind. And I agree that it was odd that Dorian would just blow off Basil.

mollyp2010 said...

Lauren B: I almost got the opposite impression...I think it seems like Dorian is becoming increasingly impatient and tired of Basil.

KendraS2009 said...

Sarah E: I had not thought about it like that but now that you say it that way I totally agree with you.

JakeF said...

Molly- I feel like the innocence perspective comes into play here because Dorian seems to be very accepting and curious, it seems to me that he is looking for new things and Henry intrigues him very much, and has been with Basil over this time of being painting and he is begging to get bored.

LaurenB2009 said...

Molly: That is a good way of looking at it. It seems like Basil is a very calm and collected man while Dorian is very vibrant in a way. For me, it seems like the personalities of Dorian and Henry get along better.

KatieO2010 said...

Molly- I don't think that Henry and Dorian will end up together. They might get together, but I don't see it being a lasting relationship. I see Dorian being very wishy washy about who he is with.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Molly: after reading your comment, I think I misinterpreted Dorian's attitude towards Basil.

mollyp2010 said...

What do you guys think Basil means when he says he's going to stay with the "real Dorian" (the portrait)?

LaurenB2009 said...

With what Smith said...do you think Lord Henry is placed in the novel to take away Dorians innocence?

IreneL2010 said...

In my book on page 21, Wilde wrote, "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it."

How do you feel this quote relates to the story or Wilde's life? How would Victorian society view this quote?

SarahE2010 said...

In response to Kim's comment: I think that the characters played so many games because that was what the culture was then. It was how high society did things back then, like during the french revolution if you look at the lifestyle of Marie Antionette. I think the upper class enjoys playing so many mind games because what else were they going to do? Sit and rule a country all day? That was boring and games are fun.

LaurenB2009 said...

Molly: I think Basil means that the true personality of Dorian is seen through his painting. Maybe Basil is already seeing Dorian change for the worse and Basil doesnt want to be a part of it.

KendraS2009 said...

Molly: I agree that Dorian seems to be over Basil. Basil is so obsessed with him but Dorian does not seem to want to be with him anymore. I think that Basil has created more of a fantasy in his mind and Dorian does not quite go along with that. Basil was the one talking about their relationship, so it was what Basil thought and not what Dorian thinks about it.

kaytlinr said...

Katie O,
I agree with what you said about Dorian. However, I also see him as sort of a social climber. It wouldn't matter who he hurt in the process as long as he was in the spotlight.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Anna and Sara: We respect celebrities for a short while and wait for them to mess up. The minute they do, we think, "Wow, that chick is a train wreck" when we previously idolized them.

DrewB2009 said...

Molly-I think this relationship that was just introduced between Dorian and Henry might become very interesting. Basil keeps warning Dorian about Lord Henry which I think will come into play in the future. Maybe Lord Henry has done something in the past that would cause Basil to be so cautious and it might come out in the next couple chapters. Just a thought.

JakeF said...

Relating to Mrs. Smith's comment I feel like Henry may seem some of himself in Dorian and that may have been mentioned already. However it’s like a controlling father son relationship concept. He may want to live through Dorian because Dorian is so young and has so much to look forward to but Henry has gotten bored with himself.

KatieM2009 said...

Lauren- Yes I can see this being the case. I think Basil trying to keep Lord Henry from meeting Dorian is showing Basil trying to keep Dorians innocence. Because Lord Henry is older than Dorian, he will have a bigger influence on him, also he will have an influence because he is a Lord.

IreneL2010 said...

Molly: I feel that he is talking about how the painting doesn't have any flaws because he painted it perfectly. It also relates to the preface in how he is talking about the flaws that people see in the paintings are the flaws that they see in themself. Because Basil sees that he painted Dorian perfectly, he sees perfection in himself as well.

mollyp2010 said...

Lauren B: I think this is precisely the purpose of Lord Henry. He seems so full of himself, and he just goes off on tangents about his "opinions" and thoughts on life, but really I think he just says whatever will get him attention-whether he believes it or not. Basil kept on telling Henry to stay away and not change Basil too...but I think now he realizes that its already too late for that.

KendraS2009 said...

I think that the painting of Dorian was how Basil sees Dorian. When Dorian realized that Basil sees him a beautiful person, and Basil really likes him, he thinks that people will not really like him if he is ugly.

LaurenB2009 said...

Irene: I think this quote is foreshadowing Dorian falling into temptation. It’s possible that Wilde is saying that you cannot run from temptations. Wilde gave into his temptation of becoming gay and I don’ think he regrets it. Victorian society would say this quote is wrong and that people need to stay away from their temptations.

kaytlinr said...

Sarah E,
A very interesting thought. But kind of what like Mrs. Smith brought up, I think that these games were created by society, and in the process, often times they destroyed people.

JakeF said...

As humans we find it fun and interesting to push the limit like someone said. (I’m not sure who, sorry) We try and try until we get what we want. Once we achieve a goal it’s not fun anymore. Like the celebrity thing that Mrs. Smith talked about and Adrienne expanded on, we push to see if celebrities are human and we want them to mess up, so we push until they do and then we are bored. I can defiantly see Henry pushing Dorian in this way, pushing him until he is no longer innocent.

KatieM2009 said...

Jake- I agree with you. I think that Lord Henry will use Dorian through manipulation and try and live his life through the youth and perfection that is seen through Dorian's life. He will use his age and experience to take all things from Dorian and change his life.

KatieO2010 said...

Sarah- I agree with you comment, but it wasn't just because thats how society was back then, its just how society works. These were prosperous times and society flourishes in times of prosperity. People start having fun. Look at the twenties. Look at today, we play games with each other all the time.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Irene: That statement is so truthful. When Wilde was honest with himself, he was more productive. In being honest with himself he began to lie to others.

KatieM2009 said...

Inner Circle- You made a comment about thoughts of selfishness. Can anyone see this plot line ending up in any relation to Hamlet? That play was filled with selfish tendancies and look how they all ended up. Will this happen in Dorian Gray as well?

Pat said...

In this book I believe art is a reflection of the entertainment industry. I believe Wilde is getting the point across that society is spending too much time on unnecessary entertainment. He is making a stand that society is corrupt by looking into image rather than inner beauty and entertainment is corrupting the society by making image the focus. Dorian Gray Is a symbol for outer beauty vs. inner beauty and society is destroying Dorian’s innocents and inner beauty by seeing himself as society does. I think Oscar Wilde is saying inner beauty is much more important than outer beauty but everyone gets caught up in the outer beauty.

SarahE2010 said...

Katie & Kaytlin:
I agree with what you guys are saying., and I almost argue that it is worse in modern socitey. Like the inner circle was just saying about innocence, people of past societies were more innocent.

LaurenB2009 said...

Katie: I agree it could totally relate to Hamlet. Dorian is very self-centered. He cannont see what others see in life and he is so focused on his beauty and not the feelings of the people around him. Also with Dorian's response to beauty with suicide, maybe the story will end the same way that Hamlet did.

DrewB2009 said...

Irene-I think that this quote relates to the affair he had. The quote is saying that if you can fight temptation long enough it will pass by. Maybe he regrets falling to temptation because of the consequences he now has to live with.

KatieO2010 said...

Katie- I think that this will be similar to Hamlet, but with even more selfishness. Hamlet at least had the revenge bit going for him. Dorian I think is just plain selfish. I don't think this story will end well for Dorian.

KatieM2009 said...

Pat- Yes I do think that Wilde is trying to show that inner beauty is much more important in life than outer beauty. This is also shown in the preface when he is talking about the differen art. I think that if we all looked at the art and entertainment today for its inner beauty and ideas rather than what is on the outside than I think the slow unwravling of every pop start would be less intense because they are appreciated for what they have done with the art rather than what they are showing and what is on the outside.

JakeF said...

Someone mentioned the surface of the painting, and in the preface Wilde says that those go beneath the surface do so at their own peril. And it really correlates to what she was talking about when she mentioned the surface, she was talking about how much more there was in the painting than just the painting itself and I just found that really interesting. I don’t know if she had the preface in mind when she was talking about it.

annes said...

So, do none of your legs work that you can't walk into the inner circle? Hmm... not quality fishbowl unless we all participate. GET GOING!

KatieM2009 said...

Katie- What are your predictions for Dorian at this point?

KatieM2009 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SarahE2010 said...

WHat kind of impact do you think Dorian's beauty and vanity will have on him in the long run? Personally, I think it will lead to his downfall.

KendraS2009 said...

I think that throughout history until today, society puts way too much influence on looks and outer beauty.

KatieO2010 said...

Pat- I agree that this could be a reflection on entertainment. We know he wrote several plays for the London stage before he wrote this book. it is entirely possible that he was disgusted by the superficial tenancies of society and decided to tell society this.

KendraS2009 said...

Sarah E: I think that it will lead to his downfall as well. I think that he will cause his own downfall because he is so obsessed with his looks.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Are first impressions always deceptive? Do we ditch someone after the first week of charm wears off and we see their true colors? Does that make us stronger in what we respect about ourselves?

IreneL2010 said...

Sarah E: I agree. Vanity is one of the seven deadly sins and can only lead to your downfall...which is caused by your wrong doing.

KatieM2009 said...

Sarah- I agree with you. I can see Dorians beauty and perfection will lead to his downfall because as of now we have yet to see much of Dorians personality and with out personality there is no substantial strength or foundation in a person. If Dorian is going to rely on his looks and vanity for survival in life it will lead to his downfall because he will have no foundation to fall back on in the case of a tragedy or crisis.

kaytlinr said...

Sarah E,
First of all thank you for commenting on my comment! No one ever does. And I agree with you, society then was much harsher than it is now. Today if someone in higher society messes up, then the media gets a hold of it, people say what they have to say, and then they get over it. Back then, others would start a gossip chain and cast the person into the shadows. It seems like people would never get over it, forever making the person into an outcast.

RickM2009 said...

Sarah- Beauty may not only be the downfall of himself, but the downfall of other characters in the story. Katie brought up the idea of a relationship triangle, framed around Dorian Gray. If he falls, so will Lord Henry and Basil.

KatieO2010 said...

Katie M- I think that Dorian will become more and more corrupted. Now that his eyes are open, he will see society and how much he can take advantage of it. He will use and manipulate society until society rejects him or he discovers what he has become. I think this will likely be a tragic hero plotline.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Inner circle: Dorian was taught he was worthless by his grandfather. How could he see beyond that?

KendraS2009 said...

Inner circle: I think that Basil may have known that Lord Henry would get involved with Dorian. He did not want to surrender his name to Lord Henry because he may lose a part of Dorian. When he did surrender Dorian's name, Henry became involved and now Basil is losing him.

KatieM2009 said...

Adrienne- First impressions are not always deceptive and there are people you meet who will be honest and true from the beginning. On the other hand, most people will not give their all to someone they just met. After a week or two people will either be disappointed because that person is not who they thought they were, or they will be happy because they know that the other person is truely good and honest.

LaurenB2009 said...

Adrienne: I think Dorian seems to be easily influenced by others. this is why Basil tries so hard to keep Lord Henry away from Gray. Basil can see the truth but Dorian still believes what his grandfather taught him.

JakeF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

I don’t think Dorian knew he was beautiful because he wasn’t focused on inner beauty. I believe Lord Henry and Basil are corrupting him showing that outer beauty madders which is changing Dorian’s mind and Dorian is losing his innocence with this new idea. I think he viewed his life thus far by his past experience with his family and social class so that’s why he believed he wasn’t beautiful.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Do Dorian and Lord Henry just have a bromance?

Pat said...

***I don’t think Dorian knew he was beautiful because he wasn’t focused on outer beauty. I believe Lord Henry and Basil are corrupting him showing that outer beauty madders which is changing Dorian’s mind and Dorian is losing his innocence with this new idea. I think he viewed his life thus far by his past experience with his family and social class so that’s why he believed he wasn’t beautiful.

mollyp2010 said...

Adrienne: I dont think that all first impressions are deceptive...I think it all depends on the person who is making the impression (how comfortable are they with themselves, who do tthey want to be?). But its true that this could also say something about us...perhaps we are drawn to people because of how they look,but when we start to realize who they really are, they are no longer worth our time.

LaurenB2009 said...

Jake: Its possible. Basil could have learned from his mistakes or maybe he has met someone like Dorain before and lost his innocense so Basil is determined not to let it happen again and save Dorian.

mollyp2010 said...

but then that suggest that we are all just shallow...

SarahE2010 said...

Jake: thats a very interesting thought, I had't looked at it that way. But now that you mention it, maybe Dorian and Basil don't have a romance, but Basil has a complex that he must save Dorian and protect him.

RickM2009 said...

Adrienne- Bromance is a definite possibility in this case. Innocence is something that has come up repeatedly in the inner circle, and isn't it a possibility that Lord Henry is the innocent one, and he has stumbled upon Dorian and Basil's same-sex relationship?

AdrienneB2009 said...

Inner circle: Dorian pines for attention from a man of power because his grandfather never gave it to him.

KatieM2009 said...

Adrienne- Right now I see it just as a bromance but I can see this possibly turning into something more but at this point you never know.

LaurenB2009 said...

Adrienne: So far it's really hard to tell what is going on between Dorian and Henry. The way Wilde writes the conversations between the two does come off in a romantic style but you have to remember that Wilde himself is gay so it's possible that there is no romance between the two and it is just the style of Wilde's writing.

KatieO2010 said...

Adrienne- Its hard to say, its probably too soon to give a definitive answer. Like Smith said, it was a different society. We are putting our views of our society onto Victorian society. The relationship seems "creepy" in our eyes, but it could be a genuine friendship with no pretentions of romance. Like frodo and sam or Legolas and Gimli.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Rick: Whoa! We do notice how possessive Basil is of Dorian....maybe that is the scandal. Might we have stalker situation develop?

JakeF said...

***Is it possibly that Basil was once like Dorian and that is why he doesn’t want to surrender Dorian to Henry? Could he have been tainted by Henry already and now that he fined Dorian he doesn’t want him to talk to Henry?

LaurenB2009 said...

Do you think that Dorian is so self centered that he enjoys the attention from Basil and Lord Henry so much that he will be too blind to whatever romance involving him is to come?

RickM2009 said...

Adrienne- Definite possibility, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

KendraS2009 said...

Inner circle: I agree that the relationships do not all have to be more than just friendships. Dorian may just want someone to be there to support him, like Brittney said, like a father.

annes said...

Jake- you have been writing awesome comments and connections~!

AdrienneB2009 said...

Jake: You could be right. We .don't know a lot about Basil's past. Lord Henry could be the instagator of corruption and loss of innocence

Eric said...

Lauren: I think that Wilde writes the Preface different to really think about what he is trying to say. I think that Wilde is trying to set us up that he really adores art but people dont agree and think that art is a waste of time.

Eric said...

Lauren: I think that youth is such a big topic since it is in our youth that we learn the most and really find out who we are as people and this is where we find what we are good at. It starts with the youth because you cannot start at the end and go back, you start at the begening and go forward.

Eric said...

Molly; I find it weird that Dorian would just totally blow off Basil and with this does this say anything about the people in Oscar Wilde's life? The people he adores the most leave him and want nothing to do with him?

KaitlanW2009 said...

From reading the first 3 chapters and the comments, I feel that Oscar Wilde's life appears to be pretty sad, and lonely. He seems to have very cold characters that don't care about each other. Their relationships are torn and battered, giving me the impression that Wilde himself did not have very good experience with relationships himself. He also wrote the preface in what I interpreted as a sarcastic, almost angry tone. And everything he said in the preface was meant to protect himself, and stand up for his writing. To sum up, I feel that Oscar Wilde lived a very sad lifestyle, where he had mainly bad relationships and was always forced to stand up for himself. I myself think it would be extremely hard to live all the ridicule and hate that Wilde lived with.

jordan s said...

From the very beginning it is obvious that there is a homosexual undertone in the book. One can sense the jealousy that Basil feels when Lord Henry steals the attention of Dorian Gray. I am curious as to why Basil would put Dorian on such a high pedestal, does this reveal the way that Wilde views himself as an artist?

jordan s said...

I also believe in response to Adrienne that the preface is mildly sarcastic and that throughout the early chapters Wilde is criticizing the frail nature of heterosexual relationships by highlighting their weak nature in the marriage of Lord Henry. Also, the three men seem to have a very odd love triangle going on, which one best represents Oscar Wilde?