March 02, 2005

A fresh look into the preface and book

After reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, I grew to be more aware of the meaning behind the last quote, "All art is quite useless." In a class discussion, I brought up the use of opium that takes place in the book. Because in my last blog I referred to flowers representing the destruction of one's soul, I found the way opium was used in this book to be quite interesting. Dorian Gray was using opium as a drug--to fulfill his need for it. Well, my step-dad informed me that opium is also a flower (Thanks to my step-dad for opening my eyes up to this great idea the book seemed to be hinting at).

Dr. Jerz stated in class that a flower is beautiful only if there is no use for it. It is beautiful because it is there--for the spectator to soak in it's beauty and to lable it beautiful. This is where the quote, "All art is quite useless" comes into the picture. The usefulness of art is what makes it beautiful. If someone creates a use for a flower, the beauty is no longer there. It is destroyed.

Well, because Dorian wanted to make a use of opium (the drug), it was as if he was destroying the beauty from a flower. He was finding a way to use destruction as a need for healing. Because he made use of this (even though it was not a flower, it was a drug), the beauty was gone--it had disappeared. There was no more beauty in Dorian's life whatsoever anymore.

He took the beauty away by making use of it.

Posted by Anne Stadler at March 2, 2005 12:48 AM | TrackBack
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