Monday, April 11, 2011

Synthesis Body Paragraph

When attending secondary school, students are at a very vulnerable stage in their lives. Often times it is said that "it is a rare child who can come through his schooling with much left of his curiosity, his independence, or his sense of his own dignity, competence, and worth" (Source E). This is not what we want to become of children at such a young age. These children are the future and if the pattern of conformity in schools continues, the future will be very grim. Not only will these children be subject to conformity, but they will struggle to grow intellectually because "it is true, of course, that groups do not learn; individuals do" (Source D). If schooling systems become focused on the individual, rather than breaking down all sense of individuality, children will be able to succeed on their own, not only in school, but in life overall.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dorian Gray Blog #7

Oscar Wilde insists on revealing that Dorian is a heartless and cold human being through Dorian's reactions to the deaths of both Basil Hallward and James Vane. In the case of Basil Hallward, Dorian was quickly able to ignore the fact that he had just killed one of his close friends. Rather than feeling remorse, he "felt strangely calm" (163) and quickly turned his focus to how he could destroy the body and move on. His ability to do so shows Dorian's capability of setting himself in an immediate state of denial, rather than addressing what he had done. This state of denial is so powerful that it allows Dorian to not only ignore what he had done, but convince himself that he had not done it. Oscar Wilde proves this characteristic in Dorian later in the story when he meets James Vane, Sybil Vane's brother. James recognized him and intended to take his life until the fearful and ever so clever Dorian stated that he "had all the blossom of boyhood, all the unstained purity of youth" (196), and was in no way capable of killing Sybil Vane 18 years ago. James admitted that he "was deceived" and had been "set on the wrong track" (196), quickly apologized, and exited Dorian's presence. Not only had Dorian been capable of convincing James that he was not the murderer he was looking for, he had been capable of convincing himself. The fact that he was guilty was quickly ignored in his mind and masked in reality with words of truthful innocence. Despite Dorian's previous actions, he is somehow able to keep a carefree mindset and put himself over all those surrounding him.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dorian Gray Blog #4

"Now it was to hide something that had a corruption of its own, worse than the corruption of death itself-something that would breed horrors and yet would never die. What the worm was to the corpse, his sins would be to the painted image on the canvas. The would mar its beauty, and eat away its grace. They would defile it, and make it shameful. And yet the thing would still live on."- page 122

This passage shows multiple uses of rhetorical strategies such as personification and imagery. Wilde refers to his sins as living things that are ruining Basil's portrait, saying they "mar its beauty, and eat away its grace." These sins have the ability to affect the portrait because Dorian's conscience is under so much strain. We are able to see this strain through the words Wilde uses, such as saying that Dorian's guilty conscience has the power to "defile it [the painting], and make it shameful". Lastly, Wilde uses comparisons such as worms to corpses compared to his sins to the painting. This paints a picture in the mind of the readers, while also succeeding in showing the seriousness of the passage. Because Wilde made Dorian a character that is unable to reveal his faults on his own, he found a different way to reveal them. In order for the readers to understand this, it was imperative that Wilde used these strategies as he did.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dorian Gray Said/Done Analysis

In "The Picture of Dorian Gray", Oscar Wilde often uses helpful writing tools in order to get his message across. In the passage we chose on page 81, many messages can be found due his use of many rhetorical strategies. Through his use of hyperbolic language, the conclusion is easily made that Dorian is somewhat oblivious to reality and naive when it comes to his feelings for Sybil. Rather than simply saying he loves her, Dorian uses phrases such as "Why, the whole world is nothing to me compared to her" (Wilde 81). Exaggerative language such as this proves that Wilde is not simply trying to convey the message that Dorian has strong feelings for Sybil, but also the fact that he may be somewhat naive towards these feelings and unaware of how to control them. Along with hyperbolic language, Wilde uses specific mannerisms and direct dialogue to convey yet another message. This message is the idea of Hallward and Henry being the equivalents of foil characters. A foil character is one used to serve as a contrast to another, usually more primary, character. In this short passage alone, we see the different opinions of Hallward and Henry, which lead to showing us how their personalities differ in general. By saying that "Hallward laid his hand upon his arm" (81), Wilde easily uses Hallward's compassion to emphasize Henry's cold straightforwardness. Both of these examples of rhetorical strategies may lead to conclusions that one could use to foreshadow later events. Dorian's naiveness may suggest that he will be easily influenced in a more important situation later in the story, while the differences of Hallward and Henry's personalities may suggest that they will both become very influential characters, influencing Dorian in both good and bad ways.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dorian Gray Blog #3

From what we have read of "The Picture of Dorian Gray", one might assume that Oscar Wilde is a misogynist. Although one might assume this, it is not necessarily true. In order to be considered a misogynist, Wilde would need to show his audience on different occasions that he does, in fact, have a strong hatred for women. He does not sufficiently do so in "The Picture of Dorian Gray". Although he does make a few comments that are arguable, that still does not mean that it is necessarily how he feels in real life. Even though many authors do write what they know and feel, many also write things in order to portray the specific characters in their stories. In Wilde's case, he very well may have been simply saying misogynist like things, simply in order to get across the true character of Lord Henry. By making Lord Henry a possibly misogynist and extremely disagreeable man, Oscar Wilde is successful in giving his audience a bad first impression of Lord Henry in order to set him up for all other bad things he will do during the novel. I believe that all of these things prove the argument that one cannot say that Oscar Wilde was a misogynist based statements and dialogue written in the text.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dorian Gray Blog #2

Lord Henry is a character that demands the attention of, not only Dorian and other characters in the novel, but of all those who read "The Picture of Dorian Gray". Lord Henry's blunt honesty and straightforwardness set him apart from all other characters. For some reason, human beings are fascinated by those who speak their minds and are unwilling to compromise themselves or the truth for anyone they meet, which is how we have seen Lord Henry act thus far. These characteristics quickly cause Dorian Gray to become completely enticed by Lord Henry, allowing what he says and does influence him directly. At this point, Lord Henry sees Dorian as a young man that he can easily manipulate. Due to Dorian's upbringing, manipulating him is not going to be a very difficult process. He will soon find himself pondering Lord Henry's outlandish views on certain subjects and letting them get to him. Lord Henry makes clear his belief that "Genius lasts longer than Beauty", which quickly makes Dorian fear what will come of him when his beauty begins to fade. This shows that Dorian allows Lord Henry's perspective affect him much more than a confident young man would, revealing that he is already being shaped into a victim dependent on the "intellect" of Lord Henry.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dorian Gray Blog #1

Dorian Gray is a young man who is the product of a broken family. Through Basil's artistic portrayal of him, one would think he is not only a beautiful, but a strong, independent, and mysterious man. This is not the case. Because of the lack of an influential role model in his life, Dorian has grown to be very naive and easily influenced. These are not good qualities to have, especially when dealing with a character such as Lord Henry. Lord Henry is a manipulative man who, from the start, attempted to take advantage of Dorian and his passive personality. Due to this passiveness, Lord Henry did not only attempt, but succeed in winning over Dorian's attention. Dorian had met many people in his life, but "they had not influenced his nature. Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his terrible warning of its brevity. That had stirred him at the time, and now, as he stood gazing at the shadow of his own loveliness, the full reality of the description flashed across him" (Wilde 27). This goes to show that Dorian had let Henry's opinions influence him after only knowing him for a short amount of time, proving that he will quickly turn out to be a product of Lord Henry's influence.