Slides in this set

Slide 1

Preview of page 1

Presentation on a Key
Chapter 6 and the Trinity of
Wildean Art-Identity…read more

Slide 2

Preview of page 2

"Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks
me: Dorian what I would like to be -- in other ages, perhaps"
(Wilde, Letters, 352)
· Chapter 6 affords a rare opportunity to see all
three characters interact as Dorian's
engagement is announced
· If we read the interactions between Dorian, Basil
and Lord Henry as statements of Wilde's
identity, the chapter is a window into how he
understood art and creation: i.e. as a dialectic
process of self-definition…read more

Slide 3

Preview of page 3

Topic 1: Identity is formed by
rejection and association - dialectic
BH: "Dorian engaged to be married [...]
Impossible!" BH defines art via Dorian against
Victorian norm
LHW: "I never approve, or disapprove, of anything
now" LHW's dialectic is cast above normality ­
beyond good and evil
Transition: "And unselfish people are colourless.
They lack individuality" Wilde defines
individuality as a process of accepting and
rejecting norms, but LHW presented DG with an
alternative amorality he rejects... for now.…read more

Slide 4

Preview of page 4

TOPIC 2: Dorian's Romanticism
comes as a new form of identity
formation which is set up to fail
DG: "Her hair clustered round her face like dark leaves
around a pale rose" Roses are dangerous, prickly in
Wilde's children's fiction -> FORESHADOWING
DG: "It seemed to me that all my life had been narrowed to
one perfect point of rose-coloured joy" -> HYPERBOLIC
METONYMY -> Set up to fail
TRANSITION: Dorian's infatuation sounds adolescent and
naïve. The poetry is too simplistic so it is disingenuous -
> Only complex identities work or survive for OW…read more

Slide 5

Preview of page 5

TOPIC 3: The death of the artist - BH
BH: "A strange sense of loss came over him" ->
BH's intuitions are always right in this novel. DG
has sinned against his true self and they will all
BH: "His eyes darkened, and the crowded,
flaring streets became blurred to his eyes" ->
artist is losing his vision -> metaphorical death
BH's artistic death through the loss of Dorian's
genuine, uncompromised self is the next level of
tragedy to hit this story. He is dead before he
literally dies by Dorian's hand…read more

Slide 6

Preview of page 6

Just like in Mary Shelley's novel, the fairytale
moment does not preclude a form of reality in
the writing process. While Dorian's picture is
magical, the process of dividing artistic selves
into this triangle has allowed Wilde to present us
with a very real picture of how writing generates
and kills artistic selves. With the birth or death
of a character, the author lives, breathes and
dies, and shares these experiences with a reader
whose own identity morphs and evolves.
We all have a Dorian, a Basil and a Lord Henry,
but in some ages, one has to kill the others.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »