Lord Henry's speech:goals and means.
Lord Henry's aims (goals) I shall not judge. "To be beautiful and young above all."
It's his actual speech that is brilliant.
I find his proposition in chapter 2: "Youth! Youth! Youth! There is nothing in the world but youth."
He backs up his argument with that same paragraph in chapter 2 directed to Dorian and with two different paragraphs in chapter 1 directed to Basil.
Chapter 2 Henry to Dorian: "Be young! It doesn't lasts long and is worth having. When youth go beauty goes and beauty is worth having because"... and he gives two reasons.
Chapter 1 Henry to Basil:
Beauty vs ugly
Beauty vs intelligence
Beauty = stupid = good (moral and estheatics are equalled...to be beautifu is a good thing a moral thing.)
Paragraph 2: adds the time factor.
This beauty which is so good doesn't last because we all try to be intelligent and well informed and therefore become ugly.
Basically he ties beauty to a moral value. If to be beautiful is a moral thing wouldn't you do anything in the world (means) to achieve that goal? All his actions are justified for a higher goal, to be happy. Beauty brings happiness.
I feel like if oscar wilde could have sta down one day and said, "Beauty, for or against. Discuss." You try it...try being a lawyer that has to defend that position in a debate....fascinating the way Oscar does it...whether you lik his goals or not...that is none of my business.
About his goals....everyone is free to decide what values will make him or her happy. One can only debate the means used to achieve his goals. And his writing style, which in my opinion is timeless and perfection.
Last edited by Akaruihi; 10-08-2010 at 10:19 AM.