The Vixen And Immortal: A Comparison Of Brett Ashley And Dorian Gray

1821 words - 8 pages

Within The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Sun Also Rises, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway respectively illustrate characters that hold a fascination for their own beauty. Through this essay I will compare and contrast those characters, Dorian Gray and Brett Ashley, and their obsession with their said beauty. Within The Picture of Dorian Gray both Dorian Gray and Lord Henry value youth to extreme extents, and Dorian is able to grasp a sense of eternal youth only to drive himself to his own demise. Brett Ashely on the other hand, uses her beauty to find a powerful identity within a patriarchal society, and at the end of the novel she finds herself cycling back to who she was in the beginning ...view middle of the document...

Sensual love lacked intellectual development, while one could openly explore their intellectual capabilities within the context of a romantic friendship. While sensual love focused on the sexual aspect of love, the goal of the romantic friendship was not to derive pleasure from sexual acts. Within the framework of Greek society, within a romantic friendship:
“the relationship between a lover and a beloved as envisioned by Pausanias was asymmetrical; the lover (erastes) was an older, mature, and socially experienced man who truly loved his pais, his boy. The boy in turn was able to derive educational values from his mentor. His body was the price he paid for it…” (304).
The relationship of a “romantic friendship” is structured in a way that both parties benefit greatly from the interaction. The older individual is able to pass on his knowledge and enjoy the youth of the younger man. Also through this relationship the younger boy is better able to adapt to the role expected to him. While, the older man can be sexually attracted to the young individual, this is not the main focus of the relationship. Within The Picture of Dorian Gray, when Basil first meets Dorian there is a great deal of focus on the power Dorian suddenly begins to hold over Basil. This power is reminiscent of two romantic partners meeting for the first time. When refereeing to this moment Basil states, “I turned half-way round, and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. When our eyes met I felt that I was growing pale. A curious sensation of terror came over me” (Wilde 10). This interaction exemplifies Basil and Dorian’s relationship within the entire novel. When speaking of Dorian, Basil constantly focuses on his beauty, and the purity that instills that beauty within Dorian. On the part of Basil, this connection between the two characters includes very little exploration of intellectuality that is normally found within the “romantic friendship” relationship. While Basil fails to connect to Dorian intellectually, Henry is able to mold his own ideas on Dorian’s blank slate. As stated within Enders article, “Henry’s teachings thus give birth to Dorian’s adulthood” (Enders 305). After Basil’s failure to connect to Dorian, Henry gives Dorian that intellectual stimulation. At the same time, Henry is not a dependable connection. As Enders describes Henry and Dorian’s relationship by stating, “a lover of Alcibiades’ beautiful body is not loving Alcibiades, just something that belongs to Alcibiades” (309). Within this quote the name Alcibiades can be replaced with Dorian. Henry is in love with Dorian’s youth, but once that is gone Henry’s interest in Dorian will start to fade. Regardless, Dorian chooses Henry to be his mentor. Once Dorian blossoms into adulthood he naturally desires for form the same type of relationship within another individual, and influence the next generation. But Dorian is incapable of forming said relationships due the immortality and lack connection he derives...

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