Posted by: nathaliecoates | December 14, 2011

Dorian Gray and a Commentary on Self-Representation

During our last class we talked about Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and specifically the function of representation in the novel. While the portrait is a reflection of the artist and not necessarily the sitter, it is also a distinct way of representing the subject. The artist’s lense captures what they see in the subject, but is that how the subject wants to be seen? In Dorian’s case, no. He is filled with rage when he finally sees the gruesome portrait Basil has painted.

What can we take away from Oscar Wilde’s novel? In a more modern context, we understand ourselves in relation to representation and how we choose to represent ourselves. The more control we have over this, the more accurate it may be. However, we use mirrors and artists to establish an integrity of self.

Do you think your Facebook picture is an accurate portrayal of yourself? How does self-awareness factor into how you see your personal beauty? While contemplating these questions, I remembered Wendy’s post on photoshop. I came across a true photoshop fail: Faith Hill’s cover picture on this month’s Redbook magazine. I just wonder which one Faith sees herself as…before or after?


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