Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: The Sophistication of Select Literary Devices What’s in a name? All of the important quotes from Picture of Dorian Gray listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned.
Wilde’s characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray are certainly colorful people, but what might their names indicate about their personality traits or their relationships to one another? What are other simple literary devices that Wilde uses to build characters, plot, and theme? All quotes from “Picture of Dorian Gray” contain page numbers as well.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Exploring the Many Facets of Masculinity There are three main male characters in this novel: Basil, Dorian Gray, and Lord Henry.
Each character represents a distinct version of masculinity in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, yet all are struggling, to a greater or lesser extent, to reconcile their versions of masculinity with the social norm.
What might Wilde want to say by challenging those traditional roles as he does?
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Nature of Beauty As The Picture of Dorian Gray opens, the importance and centrality of beauty to this novel become evident immediately.The lush descriptions of the environment, the detailed observations about the characters in by Oscar Wilde, and the appreciation that they articulate for beautiful objects, people, and experiences all suggest that beauty has a meaningful place in the novel.Citing and analyzing key passages from the text, build an argument that convinces your reader about the nature of beauty and its importance in The Picture of Dorian Gray.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Role of the Artist and/or the Arts in Society Like beauty, art and the artist are important concepts in The Picture of Dorian Gray, though beauty and art should not be confused; they are related yet distinct concepts.The very title of the novel positions art as an integral component to the novel’s thematic content, as well as the action of its plot.The narrator describes Dorian as "...a young man of extraordinary personal beauty" (1).If we agree with a statement that Lord Henry later presents where he says an intelligent or corrupted man could not be beautiful, for it would show on his face (2) – a statement that today's society seems to be in agreement with, we might assume that Dorian Gray is innocent and pure, with a mind just waiting to be filled with ideas.How and why does the portrait change over time, and what is the significance of the final scene, in which Dorian believes himself to be stabbing the portrait, but in which he really kills himself?Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: Character Development and Maturity: A Psychological/Psychoanalytic Perspective In the world of fiction, as in life itself, some characters are likeable, while others are not.Although Lord Henry is not necessarily an evil person, he lacks morality and often puts the experience of pleasure above anything else.By carefully examining the transformation of Dorian Gray from an innocent being to a perhaps Dionystic character we see that Wilde uses the narrator's description of Dorian, Dorian's interactions with other characters, and the portrait to characterize Dorian and thereby introduce and emphasize the previously stated theme.