Sibyl Vane – the feminine catalyst | The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dorian's rejection of Sybil, I think, highlights the cruel and brutal nature of Lord .. In order to understand Gray's rejection of Sybil Vane we have to first figure out . When she and Dorian start a relationship, it's as if being in love with Dorian. While reading Dorian Gray, I could not but help make the literary comparison to the story by Wilde, he exists only to be beautiful and serves no purpose beyond that. Sibyl Vane is worthless compared to the characters she portrays on the stage. . at heart and he is vane in mostly all of his relationships with other people. Dorian Gray - A radiantly handsome, impressionable, and wealthy young Sibyl Vane - A poor, beautiful, and talented actress with whom Dorian falls in love. James cares deeply for his sister and worries about her relationship with Dorian.
Most interesting is the way in which the characters love or become obsessed with art. Dorian loves Sybil for her artistic ability to act, and when she is no longer able to perform, he is no longer in love with her. They find a perverse beauty in this, and as such they do not mourn her death. The Picture of Dorian Gray reveals somewhat of an entropic quality of life that all beauty is only temporary and that decay is inevitable.
If one is to compare Dorian to the aestheticism movement as championed by Wilde, he exists only to be beautiful and serves no purpose beyond that. As he fails to lead a morally just life to exemplify his beauty, he fails to achieve the goals of aestheticism. However, the portrait which changes over time to reflect every crime, hypocrisy, or injustice of Dorian, reflects aestheticism in its negative sense- by viewing the painting in its decayed form, the viewer learns of the horrors of a life of corruption.
But the tone changes as soon as Dorian enters the scene in the second chapter. After the amusing conversation about Americans in chapter three, the tone of the novel changes completely, to become dark and disturbing. When she has lost the power and beauty of her artistic capabilities, she is worthless, so much so that Dorian can ignore her sobbing pleas and recovers quickly from her death.
Sibyl Vane is worthless compared to the characters she portrays on the stage. Over the next few years, he surrounds himself with beautiful and exotic objects. He collects tapestries and jewels and studies perfume making and music. He talks and talks and talks, but there is no meaning behind what he says. Excess makes beauty worthless, or it fails to create new sensations. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Dorian does not want meaning from art; he wants nothing more than sensation.
Yet by basing his life on beauty and its sensations, he has tried to make it into something useful. Therefore he has based his life on things without a foundation: Dorian admires Sibyl as an aesthetic object, and once she strays from this image, he is devastated and disgusted.
When he makes his adoration known to her, her acting falters because she knows what it feels like to be in love, rather than to simply act as if she were on the stage. Dorian is then a slave to art, and from this moment on that becomes even more directly apparent as he notices that his portrait has changed, revealing a wicked smirk on his once guileless face. Again, that Dorian chooses his schoolroom as the residency of his portrait is very interesting.
It is, as said ironic in a way, but it also makes perfect sense. Dorian hides his dissolution under the guise of innocence, in his schoolroom as well as his person.
The Picture of Dorian Gray: Chapters
In this way the story reminds me a great deal of Paradise Lost. Like Eve, Dorian is led astray by the smooth talking and flattery of a hypocrite. Lord Henry is funny and sounds very clever, but his philosophies in the end prove false, and even he does not live according to them. The idea begins to sound very appealing. Who would want to acknowledges the suffering of the world when one could be surrounded by beautiful art, music, literature, fragrances, etc?
Wilde really emphasizes the motivation behind this lifestyle by his lavish description of settings. His use of sensory images and color create very specific and beautiful mental pictures. Even the shocking ending of Dorian Gray suggests that it is in his realization of his own evil and desire to change for the better that Dorian accepts his death.
But there are just too many problems with the aesthetic life for me to accept it that easily. Under this model of existence there is no motivation or positive reinforcement to do good; everyone is motivated by one's own selfish pursuit of pleasure. Another aspect of the story that weakens the philosophy of the aesthete is the acceptance that all beauty is that all beauty will fade.
I feel that Sybil Vane defeats this argument in her action in the story. Her suicide could be argued as a selfless act and a show of devotion to Dorian. In her disregard for her own pleasure, she is able to remain forever beautiful in the minds of the living.
This is what frustrated me the most about this book: I could only find one solid point that this book makes that is not contradicted: Vane assures him that she will look after Sybil and that her suitor is He describes how Sybil, dressed as Rosalind, beautiful in boy clothes as if she was made for the role, He says that it was actually Sybil who first mentioned marriage.
Henry comments that this is typical of a woman. Dorian promises Henry that Sybil will make it all seem quite different, as she stirs the audience in sympathy with The three men are fascinated by her. Henry realizes that she is And why should the face now wear the expression of cruelty?
Dorian considers Sybil but struggles to find remorse, and sees the tragedy as her doing. Some remorse begins to come to him and he resolves to win Sybil back and live happily with her. The morning suddenly seems fresh and romantic again. He has been made aware of how he has injured Sybil Vane. He has for a moment what no man could hope to have, a living Henry appears at the door, wishing to see him.
He wants to comfort Dorian about Sybil.
Dorian suggests that the tragedy has taught him the value of his own conscience. Henry convinces him that he should not feel too badly, that He had come to visit Dorian as soon as he heard