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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Art is the best way to depict realism. The current world seems to have a completely wrong idea of science as the only way to bring about explanations to various phenomena. That is absolutely wrong and impractical. Art and the use of art go beyond any speculation concerning reality. Well, better still, it's only through art that a simple transversal like line can be drawn to distinguish reality from fantasy; truth from false, possibilities from impossibilities and even still, good from bad. Art uses all the common natural senses. This doesn't miss that those people with sense problems such as partial sight, the mentally handicapped and the physically incapacitated cannot enjoy the benefits of reality know-how. Art involves a high percentage of imagination and conclusiveness. That's why every living human being is a mere work or a mere representation of a work of art. Talk about beauty. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder; a common saying that tells each person has his or her own level of beauty. As (Oscar Wilde, Joseph Bristow and Ian Small 176) put it, "though we travel the world over to find beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not". Henceforth art is within every person.

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In the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde brings a different view on how art is depicted in life and how it tends to depict life. According to Wilde, art is not art unless it is beautiful. This depicts the use of art to bring about satisfaction. All persons want satisfaction. Therefore, if satisfaction comes with beauty, or pleasantries, so should art. Critically looking at the reality about life, not everything is satisfactory, not everything is beautiful or pleasant, then why can't we say art can be ugly, or unpleasant? (Oscar Wilde, Joseph Bristow and Ian Small 16) Art should also be used to depict unpleasant; so long as the unpleasant do exist; we know they do exist. Looking at the example of theatre, staging a comical play can be termed as pleasant. What about staging a tragedy play? Satisfaction therefore comes after a work of art.

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In the book, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wilde uses language to define art in an indirect way. Art forms a larger percentage of imagination. From the preface, 'There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.' This already makes a reader have a certain imagination that might lead to a change of attitude that was there before. Here comes an argument. What defines morality or immorality is language, then, is language immoral ...? From the characterization point of view, Lord Henry views happenings as undesirable and there to hurt. It's therefore a life's challenge to all to expect meeting lies and painful decision by others. Lord Henry is mad at the idea of Dorian forgetting the creed which he taught him, thus exchanging pleasantries with life. At that point, life is more important than art, a clear indication of the style of disillusionment. Lord Henry didn't expect the fluctuating decisions of Dorian. In chapter 2, 'the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it' (Wilde Oscar p21 and p183)

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'For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it' (Oscar Wilde, Joseph Bristow and Ian Small page xi). Dorian might be conceiving this view as his consolation. He takes a conservative characteristic that one might term it as childish. It defeats the logic of not all that glitters, is gold. He creates imaginative sensations as he studies several experiences, defines beauty, and follows his own passion endlessly. From his cladding, one might sorely be convinced that there are never any restrictions to appeal, satisfaction from the inner self and the form that makes happy. In chapter 11, Dorian tends to redefine his own feelings as he accuses the feelings, a style of personification, of meandering away from him for a long time then coming back when it's late or almost late. While taking lunch at Aunt Agatha's, Lord Henry says in chapter 3, he can sympathize with everything except suffering (Oscar Wilde, Joseph Bristow and Ian Small p203). This creates unexpected pun of the use of suffering in the book. Art is what defines beauty, and what causes the suffering that Lord Henry can't sympathize with, is the beauty by virtue of art.

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Any work of art is defined by the artist but the work of art will eventually mirror the spectator. This is because as every person has his own artisanship, he or she will try to interpret the work of art to the best of his or her knowledge. A doctor doesn't examine himself nor does a barber attend to his own head when his hair has grown long. But art is different; a creation of art is never associated entirely with the creator. The separation of morality and ethics is therefore eminent as the two never conclusively meet normally. Each individual is different from the others, even identical twins differ in one way or another, the same way ethics and aesthetics differ. Looking at chapter 19, according to (Oscar Wilde, Joseph Bristow and Ian Small p157) asserts "To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable". This creative idea brings to mind the issue of reality. It's a fact that one can't get back to be a youth after being old; though he still wants to get back to his youth. With art it never gets old, it only gets different opinions.

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For instance, a play written and acted centuries ago might sound very boring if acted today. Funnily enough, it's not all the audience who will find it boring, part of the audience will appreciate that aged art. From chapter 17, 'it is better to be beautiful than to be good, but is better to be good than to be ugly' (Oscar Wilde, Joseph Bristow and Ian Small p453). The last option, if asked to choose, is to be ugly. This depicts the realism of art. A piece of art can define realism in all possible ways; whether good or bad, thus, art is not beauty, but it is what defines beauty. In conclusion it can be noted that The Picture of Dorian Grey is a piece of work that brings out realism in many ways and tries to give explanation of different phenomenon.

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