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Thread: Essay Help

  1. #1
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    Red face Essay Help

    Hi,

    I am writing an essay on the following question:
    "In Wilde's the Picture of Dorian Gray, does the picture itself contradict the aesthetic theory that art and morality are divorced? Does it reveal the dangerous consequences of blurring the distinction between art and life? In short, does the overall context of the novel offer a repudiation of extreme aestheticism?"

    Any suggestions?
    Much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Hello, Samsung, welcome to the forum. Perhaps I can help a bit with your questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Samsung
    In Wilde's the Picture of Dorian Gray, does the picture itself contradict the aesthetic theory that art and morality are divorced?
    I have never thought of Wilde's work that way, but think it an interesting interpretation. I would not necessarily think morality apart from, nor linked to, aesthetics (otherwise, what would one have to say of Michelangelo's paintings of the Sistine Chapel and interpretations of religious texts, or of Gustave Klimt's portraits of nudes and a concept of perversity?), but I more want to consider Dorian Gray's intention behind the desired aesthetics of youth, mixed with immorality.
    Surely, no, I do not think that aesthetics appear apart from morality, but it depends more upon the artist, his/her separate morality, and the intention of his/her art. In essence, the portrait, I believe, does not contradict any theory of aesthetics seeming apart from morality. Dorian Gray, himself, I do not hesitate to say, appeared a very immoral person, and his intention aimed at the art piece did not seem focused on the portrait, but more on the fulfilling of his desire to retain youth.
    Of course, many considered him an aesthetic youth, and his portrait very aesthetic, but this seems not connected with his immorality; in logic, this may proclaim that all attractive people seem immoral, and all unattractive people moral.
    Quote Originally Posted by Samung
    Does it reveal the dangerous consequences of blurring the distinction between art and life? In short, does the overall context of the novel offer a repudiation of extreme aestheticism?"
    Perhaps, yes, yet again I think it furthermore displays the consequences of creating, or inspiring, a work of art with poor intentions - the mixture of extreme aesthetics and immorality.
    Good luck, and I hope I have helped.

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