The Picture Of Dorian Gray Theme Of Hedonism Matric Literary Speech

2106 words - 9 pages

Annals of the „Constantin Brâncuși” University of Târgu Jiu, Letter and Social Science Series, Issue 1/2015
„ACADEMICA BRÂNCUȘI” PUBLISHER, ISSN 1844 - 6051
55
A NEW HEDONISM IN OSCAR WILDE’S NOVEL THE
PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
Minodora Otilia SIMION
Lecturer PhD
“Constantin Brâncuşi” University of Târgu-Jiu
ABSTRACT:
OSCAR WILDE IS ONE OF WRITERS WHO EXPRESSED HIS OPINIONS ON HEDONISM AND
AESTHETICISM IN HIS NOVEL THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. AT THE TIME OF THE NOVEL’S
PUBLICATION, IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND THE AESTHETIC MOVEMENT WAS FLOURISHING. THE
AESTHETIC MOVEMENT COINCIDED WITH THE INDUSTIAL REVOLUTION AT THE END OF THE
NINETEENTH CENTURY AND EMPHASIZED THE ARTISTIC ASPECT OF A MAN’S WORK..WILDE’S
THOUGHTS ON AESTHETICISM, MORALS, ART AND LIFE ARE EMBODIED BY LORD HENRY
WOTTEN WHO BELIEVES THAT LIFE IS WORTH LIVING TO ITS FULLEST OTHERWISE IT WOULD
BE A WASTE. IN OSCAR WILDE’S VIEW, THE AESTHETIC MOVEMENT IN FIN-DE-SIECLE ENGLAND
EMPHASIZED THE IDEA OF CREATING THE MAXIMAL AMOUNT OF BEAUTY AND PLEASURE IN
ONE/S LIFE AND DORIAN GRAY SEEMS TO PROMOTE THIS PHILOSOPHY.
KEY-WORD: HEDONISM, AESTHETIC MOVEMENT, MORALS, ART, LIFE
1.Introduction:The Aesthetic Movement
At the time of the novel’s publication, in Victorian England the Aesthetic
Movement was flourishing. The Aesthetic Movement coincided with the Industial
Revolution at the end of the nineteenth century and emphasized the artistic aspect of a
man’s work.
The Aesthetic Movement, represented in Britain by Walter Pater, was introduced in
France by such writers as Theophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert and
Stephane Malarme. The fin-de-siecle in England is characterized by the triumph of
evolutionism in science, growth of industrialization, economic and political rivalry among
countries, the emancipation of women and urbanization, all these being reflected upon the
general spirit of the age. The spirit of decadence is a feature of many literary works of the
turn of the century and as a movement Decadence is associated with |Symbolism and
Aestheticism and it has appeared as a reaction to realism and naturalism. Aesthetics seek
beauty everywhere: in art, literature, in life, beauty is their new deity, art embodying the
absolute autonomy, a superiority over other aspects of life and an independence from
morals and society. Their views are a reaction to the Victorian beliefs according to which
art could be used as a tool for social education and moral enlightenment.
The Aesthetic Movement in Great Britain, initially comprising authors, painters,
critics and collectors of art was “ a mixture of straightforward rebellion against
Annals of the „Constantin Brâncuși” University of Târgu Jiu, Letter and Social Science Series, Issue 1/2015
„ACADEMICA BRÂNCUȘI” PUBLISHER, ISSN 1844 - 6051
56
Victorianism, never theorizing, and extravagant posing-all meeting in unstable fusion in
the symbolic rise and fall of Oscar Wilde”[Gilmour :237].Its leading figures were John
Ruskin and William Morris who...

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