Monday, February 23, 2009

Fishbowl Ch.9-12 Blog Question

This section of the book takes place around the end of the 1800s. In England, this was a time defined by "world-weary sensibility", meaning asceticism was quickly ending. How do you think this has impacted Dorian? Is this the reason he has become such a dark person?

21 comments:

mollyp2010 said...

The ending of asceticism may have contributed to Dorian's progression of darkness, however I think that other things did too. It is easy to see how it would be hard for Dorian to live a life almost completely based on looks, when the day and age is beginning to become more wise and see through that. However I think that more than anything it was Henry's influence that has made Dorian such a dark person. As far as we know, Dorian was an innocent person before Henry came into his life. Between Henry's presence, the book that enraptures him, and the portrait that is constantly weighing down on him, there are many reasons that have helped Dorian in becoming a dark person.

shellim2009 said...

Dorian is largely affected by society since he is paritally a protégé of that society. Therefore, if the world as Dorian knows it should change, he too shall change with it, for the good or bad. Dorian's time was so used to denying everything they ever said or did, hiding behind a mask of beauty or time. Dorain did this too. If times change, it seems like Dorian will have to eventually own up to his mistakes, and make ammends to the world. Whether or not the world will then accept him is not up to him anymore. He has made his bed, and no matter the changes in society, now he must lie in it.

MackenzieL2009 said...

I think the fall on asceticism did have an affect on Dorian. Dorian has always found his worth in his beauty. It seems that Basil and Lord Henry were only interested in him because he was so good looking on the outside, barely caring who he was on the inside. When people stop simply looking at his outside appearance and begin to take his actions into account, he loses most of his credibility and therefore has nothing to redeem himself with. Dorian will have to be like other people and begin to care about the 'state' of his soul.

EricL2009 said...

Dorian is inflicted greatly upon society. He does what the society wants him to do(Lord Henry) and he just does what people want him to do. He never stands up for what he believes and I think that asceticism did in fact play a big role in his darkness. Society only see's the beauty in Dorian and if they were to look at the picture of the actual Dorian they would realize that he is in fact a shady person and very actually ugly. Dorian is turning into what society is making him into.

TaylorS2009 said...

The falling of asceticism did have an influence on Dorian and his darkness. So far, we have seen that the only thing he cares about is the 'art' and beauty of life. The second it leaves, he drops whatever he cared for. But the fact that the society as a whole is gaining more wisdom makes me think that Dorian's darkness will increase even more because he will be stuck in the past while the rest of the world will begin to shun him.

Knicastro said...

For sure. If he had been surrounded by people who HIGHLY discouraged the things he did, I don't think he would have done them. But Henry encouraged it and no one else did anything about it other than Basil. Everyone else just liked the gossip. So yes, the cultural change going on at the time did contribute to the things that Dorian did.

BrittneyW said...

I think Molly made an amazing point earlier in the blog where she talked about Dorian feeling darkness because of his looks. i think this is a great point. I feel like people never get to see the "true beauty" of Dorian and I think that is why he has a skewed perception on life and why his is so dark. I think he also has become such a dark person because of his childhood. He was not really loved when he was young and like orphanes when their young, they dont feel attached or loved by anyone so they feel as if they are alone in the dark.

KaitlanW2009 said...

I agree with Molly in saying that the end of asceticism only contributed to Dorian's changing, most of it had many other reasons. Just as Drew said during the fishbowl, Lord Henry was the main impact on Dorian. He is just like the puppet master, making his puppet dance for his own entertainment. I feel that Lord Henry started Dorian down the path toward darkness, and Dorian is just following it. Sure he could turn around if he wanted, but it's easier to just keep on doing what you're doing than turn around, and change again.

Anna P2009 said...

Dorian is shaped by what is happening around him. He is not his own person so when society isn't based on beauty anymore then he sees the negative in everything now. Also, in the time of aestheticism his beauty could get him whatever he wanted, now after he basically sold his soul to stay this beautiful it doesn't matter much anymore. That has to leave room for some anger and regret which will cause him to become a darker person. His beauty can no longer get him everything that it used to. He has to be bitter.

Kim C. 2010 said...

I think that this definately had a large impact on Dorian, but as some others have said it was more of Lord Henry that really created this dark persona in Dorian. The "world-weary sensibility" really doesn't seem to affect Dorian as much as the people around him do. Dorian at the beginning of the story was just a clup of nice clay, and Lord Henry took him and fashioned him into a very unattractive dark piece of art.

DrewB2009 said...

Society at this point is very dark which will turn Dorian into a darker person. Lord Henry pretty much shapes Dorian Gray into the person he wants him to be. Because Lord Henry seems to be a dark person, Dorian is going to become darker as the book goes on.

KatieM2009 said...

I think the fall of asceticism had something to do with the change in Dorian for darkness. As others around him started looking deeper inside the person, past the looks, Dorian is lost because looks is what he has been living his life off of. Now that others are looking past beauty, Dorian has nothing to fall back on and is not as honored as he was before because he has no true personality. Like I said on the fishbowl blog, I feel he is struggling between the person he truely is and the person everyone wants him to be so that does not give him something solid to stand on during a time of inner beauty that is starting to blossom in his society.

KendraS2009 said...

It seems that Dorian could be influenced by almost anything. He is influenced by people, especially Lord Henry, so he can also be influenced by the society. Dorian has been influnced to believe that his beauty is one of the most important things to him. When the outer beauty stops mattering as much, and his actions matter more, he is seen as a dark person. He does some bad things and treats people badly.

Pat said...

I believe Dorian is extremely impacted by the fall of asceticism. He is so wrapped up in outer appearance, beauty, and fascinated by art he is losing the importance of inner beauty. As outer beauty comes less prevalent because society views beauty in a different way, Dorian is left in the dust. His society changed without him making Dorian an outcast rather than a symbol of beauty. Dorian’s inner beauty is now being evaluated by his society which is creating a problem because Dorian’s actions have been so focused on his outer appearance he destroyed his inner beauty. This I believe is what makes Dorian fall into a dark depression because of the emptiness he faces inside. His outer appearance is now useless in the eyes of his society which Dorian obviously cares the most about.

AdrienneB2009 said...

True beauty is inner beauty so as society discards more value in outer beauty and products designed to enhance or maintain outer beauty, Dorian loses "value." He becomes darker as he realizes his true youth and innocence are gone and the facade he can't escape isn't so great anymore. He can't recapture true beauty.

SaraB2009 said...

I think the "world-weary sensibility" is the reason for his secrative self. I the fact that everyone is so obsessed with looks and do not pay much attention to personality, that it makes such an impact on the people of this time. I believe that this has made Dorian who he is in the way that he only cares about how he looks, what parties he gets invited to, and who he spends his time with.

jordan s said...

I feel that Wilde held onto his beliefs so tightly that he was writing this novel to go against what was happening during the time it was written. Although society's ascetic nature was coming to an end, Wilde's was not. Thusly, I do not think there are any outside influences that go into Dorian except for Wilde's own thoughts and beliefs. I think that Dorian mirrors a disdain for society in the eyes of Wilde, but his character is increasingly more dark and without conscience because Wilde is asserting that people make themselves ugly in the pursuit of beauty.

Steven W said...

I think that society largely affected Dorian because he views beauty so highly and when society no longer views beauty so highly he feels that he has lost his podium. However I think that Lord Henry brought out this side of Dorian. Dorian had never considered the fact that beauty fades until Lord Henry pointed it out to him, from that point on Dorian's vanity overcame him and his beauty was his only concern. He sold his soul in order to stay beautiful and because of that I think he progressed into darkness because he realized that society didn't care as much about beauty as he did and he realized that he gave up his conscience for something that society no longer highly valued.

Wilberry09 said...

The overall impact and certain undefinable repercussions are not necessarily contributing to Dorian's depression and sense of distraction. It is possible that this time period may have had a large influence on Wilde's imagination and sense of reality. In this sense, i can certainly convey the fact that it is permissible to say Wilde's imagination had a major impact upon Dorian as a character. This fall of aestheticism, if you will was Wilde's ultimate mental demise and therefore contributed greatly to Dorian's character as a whole.

HaileyM2009 said...

I almost think that Dorian was apathetic towards the rest of the world's opinion about beauty and only cared about his own life of asceticism, reflecting Wilde's own apathy towards the actions of the rest of the world. Dorian's darkness was an inevitable result from his own life choices, his relationship with Harry, the book he read over and over, and his own lack of consequences or limitations. Though this may be historically true, this is never mentioned in the book, and Dorian would have become a dark person anyway. He seems very into living life the way you want to as long as it doesn't contradict with his own plans and then he just turns to manipulation. Whether or not other people appreciate beauty probably did not do much to affect his own opinion of beauty or his character.

Lauren L said...

I think society not only decides a person and what they do but also how they feel. For example after 911 occured we as a people bonded together and felt patriotic. In times of sadness and misery people will do things and feel things just because that is the atmosphere is like. I think society definitly effected Dorian Grey and his personality to be so dark. Dorian was hit with some truths he could not change.