Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chapters 13-16 Question

What was the main catalyst of Dorian's downfall? What role did his family life play?

18 comments:

EmmaL said...

The main catalyst of Dorian's downfall was when Harry told him how beautiful he was. He most likely knew before this time that he was not bad looking, but when Harry told him that his looks could get him by in life, he found a new way of living. Basil had told Harry not to corrupt Dorian, but Harry did anyway. When Dorian's looks stayed the same always and he realized what the portrait really was he became completely material with both humans and objects.
His family could have played a role in his downfall also because he really had no one to be supported by. When Harry came along and seemed to have all the answers to life, Dorian easily fell for Harry and became victim to his experiments.

brooksk said...

Great question Emily. I believe that the main catalyst of Dorian's downfall is his painting. Although Harry's words altered or shifted Dorian's view of the painting, it is the painting itself that causes Dorian the pain, suffering, and riveting obsessiveness, thus making it the main catalyst of Dorian's spinning downfall. I think that his family life has had some impact and I can relate to this in a minor degree. When coming out successful and accomplished from a broken childhood and sometimes a broken family, it sometimes is easy to let your ego run free. I don't know why that is, but it just is what it is. And I see that in Dorian, coming out a beautiful and successful man from a broken and tough childhood has put him into a potential position to collapse; all it took was a self-portrait and the words of one man.

mattw said...

Lord Henry was the main catalyst in Dorians downfall. Due to Dorians lack of a family, he looked up to Henry as a father and admired him. So when Henry started telling Dorian that he needed to live for himself and not care about anyone else and seek only his personal pleasure, Dorian took it to heart. Dorians lack of a family played a huge role in his downfall, because if he had a family he might not have beeen as easily seduced by Lord Henrys ideas.

abok said...

I think that dorian's main down fall is his dependence upon others. he depends on society to tell him that he is good looking, Alan to dispose of basil's body, basil to be his moral compass and for henry to give him excuses to induldge in gluteness ways. Dorian is a man that had no frame around what made him up, he became what others thought looked best him. I don't think dorian's family life played a large role because children were suposse to be seen not heard. Even if his mother lived he would have lived a privilage life. The thing that could have effected his outcome was to have a strong male figure, his true father growing up. henry influence might not have been so strong over dorian then

ryanb said...

I believe that Lord Henry was the main catalyst or Dorian's downfall. I think that the decisions that Dorian made he was going to make regardless because they were his choices to make, however, Lord Henry was the one to introduce Dorian to these types of situations and decisions. Also, the fact that Dorian had no family attachment or true guiding figure like a dad, it was much easier for him to become influenced by Lord Henry. The turbulent situation that sprouted from his family on helped the process along.

samt said...

I strongly agree with Emma. It was when Dorian became self aware of his own beauty that we see his downfall begin. Until that point, he was an innocent, young, naive, young adult. Once Harry encouraged these thoughts in Dorian, Dorian then felt empowered and prideful. From this pride, we see other catalysts begin to grow also. Dorian becomes self concious about his beauty because he never wants it to fade, Harry changed the way Dorian looked at his painting, and he begins to take life as he and he alone would want to see it. Unless we see Dorian hit bottom with nothing left in his life, not even his beauty, we will then see a change, but for now he is only digging himself a hole.

afoyle said...

I agree that Henry was the main catalyst in Dorian's fall, with his views on selfishness, vanity, and love (or lack thereof), but do you think it was the only one? It was mentioned that Dorian's mother and father were of the opposite social classes. His grandfather, a wealthy man, was able to have a poor man, Dorian's father, killed. Don't you think that would constitute some impressions by Dorian about the social classes and life in general?

CecilyJ said...

I agree that Henry was the main catalyst of Dorian's downfall. Before Henry began talking to Dorian, Dorian was pure and the essence of innocence. Basil's original painting is evidence of this. Henry cannont be held accountable for Dorian's downfall however, because ultimately it is Dorian's fault that he is so vulnerable. No matter how much Henry influences him, it is still Dorian who commits these actions. His lack of family role models, play a large part in his decisions

courtneyw said...

I don't think there is a main catalyst to Dorian's downfall. I think they are many things that led to his downfall. Harry, Basil, Family, Friends, Painting... The list keeps going on and on. I think the only part his family had to with it was... the lack of role models in his life.

tuckerk2 said...

I agree with the majority of those above in that Harry is the cause of Dorian's downfall. The picture is very evident of this because think it represents "tabula rasa" meaning blank state. Though the picture may have been a beautiful work of art that looked exactly as Dorian did at that moment, it was more of a blank canvas on which all the sins he committed after that date and that the picture was perfect when painted implies that Dorian had never sinned in his life before that date. When Harry shows him the self-centered path, Dorian takes it as far as he can since the portrait is taking the consequences of his actions as opposed to his body which would cause his conscience to stop him. The once beautiful portrait has been altered and he is no longer a blank slate but rather now a dark and terrible image.

MilendaN. said...

I think that Harry and Basil is the main catalyst of Dorians downfall. If Harry never have told Dorian that his looks could get him by in life and if Basil have never painted the beatiful face of Dorian, I don't think his ego would have been as big as it is. If these things never happened, I think Dorian would still be pure, beautiful and innocent. But it's too late now because it already happened.If Dorian's family was there to teach him what's right and to influence him with good and love and care about him and just be there for him, I think that it would have really helped Dorian with his struggles and obssesivenes of beauty. Dorian needed his family but they weren't there, that is why he is alone and he doesnt know what to do.

DanielC said...

I agree that Lord Henry was the main catalyst for Dorian's downfall. He didnt have the type of self confidence that would have sent him down this path if it wasnt for Henry. if he was not told how beautiful he was than he wouldnt of became over confident. A family is there to help you consult problems and learn from. Dorian didnt really have a family and it showed. He has become lost and is at the point of no return. he will not be able to become pure again. Then again you cant put all the blame on Henry, Dorian carried out all of his actions

katherineg said...

I also agree that Lord Henry was a catalyst in Dorian's downfall, however I think that it is partially his fault too. Dorian is his own person and no one can make you do anything. He had other people who liked him who he is, like Basil, but that just wasnt good enough. Basil claimed he painted the picture as he saw him, not as what he wanted him to be. Henry kept talking to him about how important beauty is and its how people succeed in life, and from that point on he lived nothing else. He lived those words and honestly believed that beauty was the number one thing in life, and as long as your attractive, you cant do anything wrong. This also is affected by a family beccause they didnt have much of a role in his life, and as such a young person, Henry influeced Dorian, and was his elder who he looked up to. It wwas really all he knew.

Dustin B said...

The main catlyst of Dorian's downfall is the picture of himself. From The Minute it was painted it began to engulf his life. First he was upset that the picture would forever stay young and beautiful as he got old and ugly. Qiuckly it transitioned to The picture displaying his soul and in fact aging itself as he forever stayed young. If the picture hadn't changed from day one Basil would still be alive and Dorian wouldn't be blaming him for the picture and the baggage that came with it. Dorian is now creating a world where he is more and more alone distancing himself from any family and friends and the picture is to blamed for that.

Emily H. said...

The main reason for Dorain's downfall is his pride. He has become way too over confident and it is driving him into insanity. I think his family played a part becuase he never had anyone in his family to really look up to. He never knew what a healthy realtionship was and never knew hpw to properly carry himself.

Kyle B. said...

I agree with the majority of you that Lord Henry served as the main catalyst of Dorian's downfall but I think that he set himself up for the ensueing events. He was loved as a child and had parents that were in a relationship that was not motivated by money yet he strove (however unconsciously) to be the bell of the ball and become an image of beauty. Until Lord Henry told him of his immense beauty, he flaunted it every which way. But at that point he became aware of its significant role in the way his life was driven.

Samantha E said...

I think the main catalyst in this story has been Lord Henry. When Harry and Dorian meet is the turning point. Previous to this event Dorian is true, honest, and the epitome of beautiful. After meeting Harry Dorian becomes only physically beautiful, his beautiful nature has been destroyed. Dorian’s family is guilty to his downfall because they did not try to help him at all, his other friends as well. These people around him must have noticed a change and just watched, they did not do anything to help. Therefore, they too are responsible for Dorian’s downfall.

Soo.K said...

The main catalyst of Dorian's downfall was Lord Henry. Before Lord Henry had entered his life, Dorian was an innocent young man that helped others. He was oblivious to the fact that he was beautiful. Dorian, unaware of his beauty, also did not know that he had enormous power due to his appearnce. It was only when Lord Henry had told Dorian his thoughts and philosophies on society. Like the pure man that he was, Dorian took in everything that Lord Henry had said. Because of this, Dorian began to use his looks to his advantage, gaining whatever he wanted without the consequences.