Comparison of the endings of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “Dracula”
“The picture of Dorian Gray”, like to “Dracula” was written near the end of the 19th century. Both novels were written within the context of the “fin de la siècle”, which brought lots of cultural change. Specifically, to “Dracula”, the “fin de la siècle” brought upon new ideas about science, technology, the role of women, and fear of invasion, which Stoker comments heavily upon through the layout, structure and linguistic devices when commenting on particular characters such as Mina as an ideal woman and using setting to play on the fear of invasion. Stoker particularly addresses these points at the end of the novel in his description of Mina, and the journey into the east. Although Wilde does gloss over a few of these themes in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, the prominent themes that he focuses on are hedonism, aestheticism, and the secrecy of Victorian society. Particularly through the tragedy form and the presentation of Dorian at the end of the novel in his death, Wilde shows his view on these themes.
In the ending of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, Wilde uses Dorian as the focaliser for chapter 20. However, at the very end of the novel, the focus is switched. Before the focaliser switch, Wilde would use the phrase “he seized the thing” in reference to Dorian, showing that he is the focaliser. After Dorian attacks the painting, Wilde changes the focaliser to “two gentlemen passing by” and then afterwards a “policeman”. This creates tension for Wilde by emphasising the death of Dorian and his tragic journey by showing the discovery of his body and the painting being turned to its original form, which shows Dorians tragic journey as the reader sees that the painting is reverted back to how it was before the Faustian Pact. Wilde can also use this technique to show the Gentlemen “walking away and sneering”, which shows that Dorian’s transgression has caused him to gain a notoriety. “Dracula” was written in an epistolary, meaning that it is a compilation of documents from different perspectives, so by the nature of the novel, Stoker changes the perspective many times. Stoker’s use of switching focalises in the ending can help his to build tension through moving time. After it says “Madam Mina still sleeps”, the perspective changes three times and time keeps moving on up to the “5th November”. This builds tension with the reader because they will know the state of Mina is deteriorating while time passes by. Also, where the perspective changes from “Mina’s journal” to “Van Helsing’s memorandum”, Stoker shows us that he uses voice for another purpose. The primary narrator of the final chapter is Mina, to Stoker’s inclusion of “Van Helsing’s memorandum” indicates to the reader that Mina is too weak to write. This creates suspense for the reader, as showing Mina’s weakness increasing shows that it is only a matter of time before Dracula can cause her full change. The...