Class-Do you think that Dorian was enlightened as to his plight when he decided to stab the painting?
Things change people stay the same
Class-Why was Dorian unable to love?
What are your guys' thoughts on the Ducchess? After reading the witty conversation between her and Lord Henry, did you derive any observations or ideas about the women in the culture and what Oscar Wilde is saying about them? To me, this contradicts the viewpoint of women in society belonging to Oscar (and Shakespeare for that matter)...would you guys agree or disagree?
That was a really good question Matt had. I want to believe that people can change, that your experiences determine your beliefs, and your regrets shape who you become. Each of us have different beliefs and views, but our change is possible. Although a person may always hold the same core beliefs, actions to support these beliefs may change.
Kyle- I think that Dorian destroying the painting represents that Dorian is realizing the person he has become. He is becoming spiteful of how things have turned out for him.
Dorain can't love because he is too selfish to concentrate his affection onto someone other than himself
I think that people dont change, they just put on a mask of who they want to be.
I think that you do not change the actual person you are, but your personality can be sculpted by a persons surroundings. Dorian never actually changed for harry or because of harry. Harry was just able to tell Dorian certain things that therefore became the views of Dorian.
Rebecca,I think the reason Dorian was unable to love was because he was to much into the beauty aspect of everything. He never saw anything for what it was. He only saw if someone was amazing... beautiful.. or things being bautiful thorugh pleasure...
Class- I believe the cause that lead Dorian to destroy his painting was because he felt he was different and he was becoming the person he didn't want to be. What are your thoughts on his reasoning to destroy the picture?
RebeccaI think that Dorian was unable to love because he was so in love with himself, and because he never saw love in its purity. All of the relationships that he saw were ones based on improving stature not on love.
As far as the inner circle discussion, I think that people cannot change themselves with a conscious effort. I believe that people can be influenced while they are innocent, but to make a conscious effort to change is not possible. People can change they're actions, but not their personality.
Becca- Well, I think that one only has enough room in his/her heart to love a certain amount and with Dorian, his heart is so devoted to himself and his own personal beauty that he has no room left. His extreme narcissism and his chosen path through life caused him to feel as such.
I think Dorian is unable to love becuase he is too easily influenced by others. He cannot take the time to get in touch with his true emotions enough to be able to love someone else when he can't even love himself.
Joe- I think that he destroyed the picture because he is realizing what he was. It was something that he couldnt handle, the picture mirrored who he really was. The mirror is a motif that is potrayed throughout the whole book and I think that it just shows that what you see isn't always what is real.
I think Dorain destroyed the painting only because he though that would change what he saw in it, so he could forget it. Or maybe he is finally realizing that there is something wrong with him. There are many possible anawers to answer this question.
Class- I found it very interesting how Dorian wasn't able to kill the rabbit but how he is able to kill a person. Also I noticed the connection between the rabbits beauty and Dorian not being able to kill it.
Joe I think that Dorian destroys the painting, because he cannont face looking at how corrupt he has become. He has changed from being pure into being purely evil. His destruction of this acknoledges the fact that he has been corrupted. It brings realization to the fact that he is ugly now and a beautiful face is not enough to achieve happiness
I believe that it is possible for people to change certain aspects of their lives. However, I do think there are certain personality tratis that do not change about people and thats what makes people unique and able to bulid relationships with other people that have similar characterisitcs.
Joe – I believe Dorian’s reasoning was that the painting was the sole purpose for all of his suffering, misery, inability to love, and obsession with beauty and vanity. Now that he had “eliminated” Basil from his life, the only other physical reminder of his corruption was the painting. By stabbing the painting, he could become free from the constant reminder of his sins.
Class- Even though James Vane died before he got a chance to kill Dorain was he still a main factor in Dorian's death?
Class, what would you do in a similar scenario (Dorian in his attic with his painting)? Would you have the will to try and stop the cycle? Would be able to come to the resolution that your life has been for naught?
Rebecca by freedo you mean dead
Kyle- If I was in a "moral rut", where it seems I would never get out I would try to seek help from others around me who still care about me. If those people are still with me and I have been in a rough situation for a while I know I could go to them and trust them for guidance. In my mind I wouldn't be able to trust myself to get out of the situation so I would go to others.
ClassDo you think that the painting aged with time. Dorian's actions are portrayed in the painting, but is his physical age? In the end he is found an old man, did the painting show an old man of just his evil?
Joe - When Dorian destroyed the picture I think it was his effort to destroy the person who he'd become. It's interesting though his motives for wanting to become a better person. I think it was purely out of fear of James Vane and what would happen to him if he stayed the way he did. I don't think that he wanted to become a better person out of the goodness of his heart but more from fear. What do you guys think Dorian's motives to become "good" were?
Dorian was probably attempting to clear his soul by stabbing it. He was filled with fear that his desire to be good was insincere, and so it seemed most obvious to destroy the thing that dictated his life, but that killed Dorian.Class- Why do you think that when Dorian stabbed his soul, it became part of him again? What does that say about how a person's soul affects them?
Class- After finishing the novel, who/what characters represent Wilde? If any.
Dustin-I think that Dorian was always meant to bring about his own death and that, even though his life has been so intertwined with those that he has hurt in the past, he will force upon himself a fitting ending without recognition of others' actions or beliefs.
I think that the duchess is a different type of woman than is usually described by Wilde, but she is still not described like Wilde talks about men. She is still thought of as a different species. Instead of being looked at as a stupid lying object like usual, she is witty and can hold a conversation, but Harry still does not like her too much. "Perhaps you are tired of Gladys? I thought you would be. Her clever tongue gets on one's nerves." (224).
I agree with what Weems said about happiness. I believe that no matter how many gifts you are given and how blessed you are, inner beauty is the most important. You must be happy ith yourself and create your own happiness through what you do and not let others influence you. It is important in life to not let others influence the person you are or become. How do you guys feel about the ending of the book? Do you feel this was a big theme?
Cecily i beleive the Painting never changed. Dorain saw himself as the painting (never aging) And when he did age and become corrupt he saw thechange in the painting rather than in himself.
EmilyI think that by Dorian stabbing his soul, he was accepting the evil in it. It became a part of him again because he realized that his actions had consequences. Although Dorian was trying to get back to being good again it was too late for him, the evil acts he had committed were already a part of his soul.
Dustin – Yes it meant death, although his ultimate intention was to escape from his misery and devastation. Although it took his life, he got what he desired.
Katherine,I think many of the characters traits reprsent him but not all of the traits. I think at least one trait in each character shows us Wilde. Not one particular person being him in all their traits.
Jackie- I agree that it was fear that motivated Dorian to be good, not pure "goodness". I think since Dorian started as a clean slate, he couldn't erase what he had done to himself, but he wanted to change it and maybe paint over it. He decided to be good after he discovered it was James Vane that had been killed, so I don't think he was genuinely going to be good, he was just going to put on another mask, which is why the portrait just got worse. His main fear was of himself.
I agree with Kyle in that Dorian intended to kill himself by stabbing the picture. He had become so ashamed of what he had become and upon realizing that no matter what he did, he could not change who he had become, he wanted to kill himself.
Jackie- I think that Dorian's motives to become good were solely for self-preservation. He had no mind for the well-being of anybody else when he was considering, if he did, what he would do if he were to survive. Dorian was a selfish person for the whole of his life and was therefore not set up to be saved for whatever reason.
For Wheems question, I honestly think its all about mirrors. The picture is how he sees himself, and in turn, killed himself. The painting was a mirror.
Cecily Johnson- The painting aged with time to show how Dorian would really look like if he didn't trade his soul to have external beauty forever. The painting showed the evil and pain in Dorian's life that Dorian wasn't able to recognize because he was blinded by his ignorance. He looked old when he died because he finally destoryed his body and his soul finally was shown through his dead body.
Tucker - Was Dorains death than in sense a repent for all his sins?
I also agree with Kyle. In the fact Dorian intended to kill himself. I never really thought of it in that way. I thought he was just ashamed of what the painting had become... but I now think that he was ashamed of what he became and what the painting showed us.
Class - Do you think that Dorian was immortal while his portrait was intact? Should he have feared James?
By Dorian killing himself in the end, do you think that he really is insecure?
TuckerWas he trying to kill his soul, his body, or his beauty? He possessed them all in a different sense did he really intend to kill himself? Does this make it suicide? If so does this portray his selfishness yet again, as suicide is often looked at as an act of selfishness
I think that when Dorian stabbed the portrait he stabbed his soul and with out a soul a person cannot live. Dorian had been living without a soul, but his soul was still living in the painting. When he stabbed his soul/ the painting he killed himself. This shows that a person is not defined by their looks or reputation, but instead by their soul. In the end the soul will prevail. This can also be lead back to the question of can a person truely change. This coudl mean that a persons soul cannot ever change, but appearanced will shoe otherwise.
Joe, I believe Dorian destroyed the picture because he felt as though he had to. The picture acuratly represented Dorian, and I think because I that, he couldn't handle the truth, so he felt like last thing he could do was was destroy the reality of the way his life was progressing?
Emma- I completely agree about Lord Henry and Gladys. Even though she is just as witty as any man, Henry does not consider her equal, and so she is an oddity among women because women are expected to be unable to understand the intelligent conversations of men. Now she is someone to avoid conversation with, or to become annoyed with because she is weird.
Katherine As we have said several times before, I think different aspects of every character represent part of Wilde’s personality. Basil was his homosexual tendencies and pure appreciation of art and beauty. Dorian reflects Wilde’s feelings of social stature, vanity, and physical perfection. Lord Henry represented the philosophical changes going on in society at the time.
Tucker I don't think he was immortal. While he did not age he still had reason to fear death because he was still human
Class- Was the painting a mirror or window into his soul? Personally I think the painting represented a window into his soul because Dorian was able to look inside and see his true soul that he couldn't see because of his downfall of his life. A mirror would only allow him to see what he wants to see, but the mirror shows him the truth.
When Dorian stabbed his painting, and it actually turned out to be himself, I think that it means that the painting was the real Dorian, and the young man who walked around in real life forever young was the facade that he had on. So dorian was really living inside the painting, and his conscience was reflected in the aging painting. And to answer the window vs. mirror question, I think that it's a window into what is happening inside Dorian, because a window would only reflect his fasade, and not be let inside his real soul.
Dusty - I don't think that Dorian tried to repent by killing himself since suicide is considered a terrible sin. I think that he instead felt such shame and realized that he had no chance for redemption so just wanted to escape the moral issues he had.
Katherine, Yes, I believe that Dorian was insecure inside. He doesn't like what he sees and doesn't want anyone on else to see what he sees. So in the end he decides to kill himslef.
I agree with what Ms. Smith said- that it is a mirror for Dorian, but for others, its a window.
Joe- I think the painting was a mirror because a lot of the time people look in a mirror and see what they don't like about themselves. Dorian sees every evil part of himself that should be reflected upon him. I feel like a mirror suggest that there is still a connection between the image and the person looking at it. A window seems like Dorian is observing something that is beyond him, disconnected.
*I mean that a mirror would only reflect the fasade and not be let inside*
Class-Was there malicious intent when Dorian's original wish was granted? Do you think that whoever it was that granted his wish meant for all this evil to happen?
Class- If James Vane had killed Dorian, do you think his soul would have come back to him or stayed in the painting?
Well Tucker om page 163 It says all Dorain wanted was a new life a page later he is dead Does his death than symbolize the atart of his new life?
Jackie, I think Dorian's intentions to become good are simply to change his outward appearance. I think he doesn't like what his new outward appearance is so he feels he has to change it to keep up his reputation.
Do you guys think that Dorian's death was truely suicide? If not what do you think happened? And if he did kill himself do you think it was only because he felt that he had become so selfish and flawed or is there something more?
Jackie- I agree with you completely. I have been trying to think of the proper way to say how the painting was the true Dorian and how his body was just the superficial side of Dorian, and you got it perfectly. Good job.
Emily I think that his soul would have stayed in the painting because he never would have felt regret for what he had become.
Cecily - I feel as though Dorian was trying to kill his soul because I feel that his physical form held both his body and beauty while the portrait held his soul. The motivation for his suicide was shame for who had become, what his soul had led him to do.
Emily-I think that Dorian was invincible to everything but himself. He was untouched by time and his soul was damaged by his earthly acts. Nothing could destroy him except for his own conscience and his actions as a result of his thoughts.
I think that Wilde is trying to explain how easily people can be influenced. Wilde, himself, was known for stating his views but not trying to inflict his opinions on anyone, and how it can end up.
If Dorian did actually sell his soul to the devil, then the idea that he was immortal while his portrait was not makes sense. But at the same time, a person cannot live a fake life forever, it will get to them and make them do something like kill their soul. By Dorian killing his soul, does this mean that deep down Dorian actually knew that he was killing himself?When Dorian is at the place where the men were shooting, he says that the dead rabbit actually has it better off than him. He also says that he would trade places with any person in the world. This sound suicidal so he may have known what he was doing.
Kyle- I think it was immaturity and vanity that was behind Dorian's wish. He probably wasn't planning to get away with crimes and still look good. He didn't want to be ugly, but what he really should have wished for is a moral mind and moral actions, because his horrible deeds lead him to be an ugly person anyways, and even more ugly in the painting
Well Dusty, he is dead now so that is a terrible way to start out a new life....
ClassCan we be forgiven for our sins? Is there a point beyond forgiveness? Dorian attempted to return to his goodness, and yet was denied. Why?
Emily H, I think it was suicide.The only reason why I think he killed himself was because he was selfish and he didn't want other people to see him as "ugly". (selfish and flawed)
EmilyI think his soul would have stayed in the painting and he would have to spend eternity suffering from the same misery he faced in life. This is because the way he would have left the world would have been due to revenge, which would only worsen the reality of his soul. He would literally be doomed for eternity to walk with the sins of his life because he did not deal with them himself.
Personally I think that Dorian stab the painting just to show his emotion that he hates who he is and who he has become.
Emma- In a way I agree with you, I can't figure out why the picture is the true representation of Dorian's soul. Why the painting, why not something else?
Tucker and classIf Dorian was trying to kill his soul why couldnt his body go on exsisting? Was all of the purity gone from his soul preventing survival?
Emily H- I don't think that Dorian committed suicide. I know that his action ended up in his death, but I don't think that he knew that he would die when he stabbed the painting, and therefore it couldn't be suicide. He stabbed the painting because it was what he thought was the easiest way to relieve himself of his troubles. The painting, in his mind, was a physical embodiment of what Dorian thought was "bad". He stabbed it in an attempt to remove it from the world. He wouldn't have stabbed the painting if he had known that he would take his own life.
Cec- I think we can always be forgiven for our sins only if we are completely, truly, fully remorseful. At this point, a person will feel horribly sad everyday but would work against the sins he has committed full heartedly. Dorian did not feel genuine remorse, he was trying to return his painting to beauty, and so he only made it worse because he was insincere about all of his actions, and he still wasn't thinking things through, he was just doing what society considered "right".
I think that you can be forgiven for your sins, but you must still bear them. I don't think that your sins can be expunged from your soul.
To answer the daunting question of what Oscar Wilde is trying to say to the audience that beauty is only desired after, and not really something to live for. I believe this because When Lord Henry boasts about a purely hedonistic lifestyle, and how great being young and beautiful is, yet he never lives that way. When Dorian actually lives in youth and lives in beauty, he end up sprialing down to and eventual self-destruction. I agree with Alex in the inner circle when she said that Wilde left this book as a guide like I made a mistake, so don't do the same.
Katherine, I believe thwt Dorian has been insecure all along. His only actions seem as though they come from Henry's mind, and it just seems that he wasn't able to control his own life, so he killed himself because he had no idea what to do or how to live...
ryan f- do you think that when Dorian tells Harry that he has changed and that he is good, do you believe him?
Tucker-Thats what im trying to say He went from wanting a new life to killing himself what was the reasoning of this?
EmilyI don't think that Dorian intentionally killed himself. He was trying to kill the corruption of his soul, but he had become so evil that that was all there was left, so when he stabbed his soul, he killed his body and beauty as well
Do you think that it was Harry's fault, or do you think that it was Dorians responsibility for his cruelty? Did Harry live vicariously through Dorian?
I disagree with Courtney about Emily H’s question. I do think it goes deeper. In the last couple chapters Dorian displayed an extreme amount of desperation and paranoia. I don’t think his ultimate intention was to actually die, but to escape his suffering and despair. He realized that it was his fault for the ugliness and reality of the painting, and that it was up to him to do something about it.
I think that When Dorian's wish was first granted, it was not so much of malicious intent as an experiment. Youth and beauty is something that every person strives for but what can those things really do to a person? Beauty in society opens doors, even if this is not how it should be. Dorian was invited into society very easily because of his Beauty and he was currupted because of this. His wish to have youth and Beauty ultimately lead to his death even though that was in a way what he was wishing against. He died alone and ugly, even losing his one true love-his outward appearance.
Cecily-I think that question leads to a discussion about the soul and the connection between the soul and the body. I believe that the soul and the body are one piece-one can't survive without the other. The body didn't live on because the mind was dead. Just as the soul moves on after the body dies.
Emma I agee with you that we can be forgiven for our sins, but why doesn't Dorian? Is it Wilde's view that we reach a point where we cannot be forgiven anymore. Or did Dorian's physical body die and his soul was forgiven through death
I thought it was so interesting how when in the end when Dorian kills himself he looked withered, wrinkled and loathsome of visage and the painting changed back into young and beauty.. I wonder if that is trying to say something.
Melinda, I don't believe Dorian has truly changed, although Dorian may have possibly changed some recent actions, he wasn't truly good. Even if he claims his intentions were good all along, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"
Cecily - The answer to your question varies with each person's interpretation of what a soul is and if you can live without it. Personally, I don't belive in a soul so I have no opinion on the issue but the author clearly does and can not live without it.
Cecily- I believe even if there was a single drop of purity left in his life his body he would of survived and all of the evil would of left his soul and he could of began his new life as a new person and with a pure soul. However, he died and there was clearly no more purity and innocence in his life.
Rebecca R,I am now rethinkng my answer to Emily H's questions. You brought up some good points. But I think the desperation and paranoia was because he didn't want people to see what he saw... so in away he was still selfish and flawed.
If the world is the battlefield between God and Satan, who is to blame for Dorian's "gift"? Could it have been God, trying to bring some enlightenment into the world? Or was it Satan, who would wish that darkness and evil-doings spread?
Class - Did Dorian discover the truth of life during these last chapters?
I think it was equally Henry's and Dorian's fault for his downfall. Dorian allowed himself to be sucked in by Henry and believed every word he said. He did not look hard enough to see that Henry was not a real friend, and neither was Basil. Facing this would only add to his insecurity and make him unhappy. Lord Henry purposely tried to corrupt Dorian. He succeeded, but it was all an experiment, and he didn't want to stop his experiment.Class- What do you think Henry's conclusion about Dorian and the experiment was?
Katherine: I think that Harry lived through not only Dorian, but every person that he talked to. He always was trying to be an influence on the people in his life, always putting strange ideas into the conversation. It just happened that those ideas that he planted in Dorians head lead to a downward spiral for Dorian.
Katherine - I definately think that Harry lived vicariously through Dorian. In the beginning he had such pleasure in the fact that he had such an influence over Dorian's character. He knew what he was doing, and what he was telling Dorian. He has never lived the lifestyle that he boast, but will let someone else live it for him, just to watch and see what happens.
Dusty - The reason why most people commit, or attempt to commit suicide is that they feel lost and hopeless. Dorian realized he couldn't achieve a new life and saw suicide as the easyist way out.
RebeccaI believe that Dorian realized that beauty was not the answer to happiness. He hated what he had become and began to despise the "beauty" he exhibited
class-I really like these lines that was mentioned in chapter 19 "Like the painting of a sorrow, A face without a heart." what do you think about what this is saying..?
Dorian did not discover the truth of life for everyone, but the truth of life for himself. He never came to terms with himself, but he discovered why his life had been so currupt. when he said things like he would rather be anyone but himself this showed that he knew that society was not everything. but when he had a feeling of relief when he found Sibyl's brother to be dead, this shows that he has no value for life, he is still selfish.
I don't think that Dorian was commiting suicide. I think that in his rage after staring at that paiting for 18 years, and after attempting to change his actions to become a better person he could not think of anything else to do in order to end his misery. We know he wasn't afraid of death, but he was trying to take steps in order to become a better person. I think it just ended up that he killed himself rather than commiting suicide.
Class - What/who do you think that James represented?
Milenda- I think this is Dorian's opinion of his portrait. He is horrified of what his painting is depicting, and Dorian is a pretty face but doesn't really feel any real things, so he his the face without the heart.
Milenda I think that that quote is discribing what dorian has become. His heart is gone from the evil sins he has commited
Rebecca, I think that in the last couple of chapters, Dorian did start to realize that his life was meant for more, but I think he may have realized too late...although I do believe that he could be saved from his sins. I'm not exactly sure if, in the end, Dorian actually did realize what his life could have been, but his own selfishness and arrogance got in the way of finally repenting and being forgiven.
It seems like Dorian wanted to be good and change when he found out that james died, because he was so scared that james might get him and kill him. But what if james didnt die would Dorian have changed or not?
"Like the painting of a sorrow, A face without a heart."This can be connected to Dorian and to the painting. Dorian basically turns into the painting when he makes his wish. He is a painting without happiness and he has no soul, so he has no heart.
TuckerI think James represented putiry and lawfulness. He was the "right" and Dorian was the "wrong"
Kyle - to answer your question, I think that Satan is to blame in a question of whether it was God or Satan. It is God who gives him beauty, but Satan gives him the desire to act upon it, and to believe himself better than anyone due to his beauty. I believe that Satan gave him the hedonistic, pleasure seeking lifestyle.
rebecca- I think that Dorian did start to realize, because in the last chapters you can already tell that he was changing. And I think he killed himself because he realized that looking young and being beautiful cannot equal happiness and pure contentment.
Class- What do you think Henry's conclusion about Dorian and the experiment was? How do you think everyone reacted to Dorian's death and how he had suddenly become ugly?
also, as to why Satan did it is because Satan tries to bring people down and tries to give people reason to self-destruct, in order to take away from the life that God gives us.
Cec, I agree with you, I think Melinda's quote is describing what Dorian has become, and why his life is the way it is now.
Tucker - James Vane represented Dorian's fear and inner consciense as to his actions and the way that his hedonistic lifestyle was taking him. James was his sins coming back to haunt him in a way, coming back in order to make him realize what his actions have done to him.
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