4. Characterize the narrator’s relationship with Victor.
Victor and Walton share many similarities in their ambitions. They are both searching for a greater understanding in science through a new discovery. Through this they both hope to gain glory and praise. However, from their own desires they put others at risk and ignore the possible bad outcomes of their new discoveries. Due to Shelley’s era of Romanticism, friendship is a common theme found through Victor and Walton. They both share the same ideas and ambitions which brings them closer to becoming friends.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
What is the significance of youth and beauty for Dorian Gray?
The significance of youth and beauty are correlated throughout the novel. This theme enters the novel when Henry expresses concern over how Dorian must make the best of his time now because his beauty will fade with age. Due to this, Dorian becomes obsessed and worried over growing older and letting his beauty fade. While looking upon the portrait of himself, he learns how the photo is essentially mocking him, leaving it up to him to accept that his youthful beauty will fade.
What is the connection between identity and social masks within the novel?
Dorian is in constant turmoil over his inner thoughts, portrayed by the portrait, while on the outside he is viewed as a beautiful and young man. He is advised on keeping a good reputation in the public eye through Lord Henry and Basil. This creates a feud between the thoughts he has about himself and how he views himself versus the public eyes portrayal of him. He creates a persona that may seem “perfect” to the outside eye but is in personal havoc internally on how he views himself. This relationship between identity and social masks leads Dorian to his own self imposed downfall.
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