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Throughout the novel, vanity haunts Dorian, seeming to damn his actions before he even commits them; vanity is his original sin.Dorian's fall from grace, then, is the consequence of his decision to embrace vanity - and indeed, all new and pleasurable feelings - as a virtue, at the behest of Lord Henry, his corrupter.
The figure of Dorian is an allegorical representation of this condition.
The portrait is a literal visualization of Dorian's private self, the state of his soul, while Dorian himself looks perpetually young, beautiful, and innocent.
When Dorian realizes that he will keep his youthful appearance regardless of whatever immoral actions he indulges in, he considers himself free of the moral constraints faced by ordinary men.
He values his physical appearance more than the state of his soul, which is openly displayed by the ever-increasing degradation of the portrait.
Because Dorian always looks innocent, most of the people he encounters assume that he is a good, kind person.
Dorian literally gets away with murder because people are automatically more willing to believe their eyes than anything else.Much of Wilde's social commentary in the novel springs from his manipulation of this theme.People's responses to Dorian constantly highlight the overwhelming superficiality of Victorian London (if not people in general).This superficial faith in the ultimate value of youth and beauty is therefore the driving mechanism behind the protagonist's damnation.In this way, may be read as a moralistic tale warning against the dangers of valuing one's appearance too highly, and of neglecting one's conscience.Lord Henry claims to value beauty and youth above all else.It is this belief, when imparted to Dorian, that drives the protagonist to make the wish that ultimately damns him.Oscar Wilde demonstrates negative influence throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray using a dark tone, intriguing imagery, and ominous diction, thus portraying the social theme.Wilde shows Lord Henry grasping onto Dorian and his moral beliefs, “There is no such thing as good influence Mr. All influence is immoral-immoral from the scientific point of view.” Dorian quickly transforms Dorian falls in love with an alluring young actress, Sibyl Vane, whose character quickly deteriorates once Dorian belittles her as he announces the engagement has been called off, “I don’t wish to be unkind, but I can’t see you again.Lord Henry openly approaches life as an art form, seeking to sculpt Dorian's personality, and treating even his most casual speeches as dramatic performances.Most notably, he pursues new sensations and impressions of beauty with the amorality of an artist: as Wilde writes in the preface, "No artist has ethical sympathies." This latter characteristic is the one that leaves the deepest impression on Dorian's character.