Critical Lense Essay
Critical Lens Essay “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul” says Lord Henry, in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. This quote essentially describes that one’s mind can only be purified through one’s awareness of one’s surroundings and actions. It also shows that one can only view the world with an open-mind if one’s soul is purified.
Purification is the innocence of one’s soul, and the goodness of it. This idea is expressed in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, when Dorian Gray writes Sibyl Vane a letter proposing to marry her.
This idea is also seen in Lord of the Flies by William Golding when Ralph and the other boys stranded on the island are found by an English trooper. Firstly, when Ralph and the other boys finally adapt to their environment of the deserted island and work together toward being saved, they start to purify their soul because the boys learn from their horrific actions on the island. For example, Piggy and Simon were two boys who were killed by the other boys. “Ralph launched himself like a cat; stabbed, snarling, with the spear, and the savage doubled up. This quote shows how Ralph acted like a monster, the use of alliteration increasing the intensity for the irrational behavior. Because of their rowdy behavior, the boys learned how the deserted island had influenced them to morph from proper English boys to cruel animals. The boys finally realize what the environment of the deserted island has turned them into and can see what their good deed of working together has done for them–being found by the English trooper and saved from becoming any more uncivilized.
The boys were once blinded by the idea of survival but once they were found this idea soon disappeared because of the goodness in their Therefore the boys’ senses were cured by their souls and because the boys became aware of their surroundings, their souls in turn become pure. Finally, when Dorian Gray tells Sibyl Vane that he does not love her anymore because of her terrible acting one night in a play, Sibyl Vane becomes heart-broken. Dorian contemplates his thoughts once he returns home and decides that what he did to her was wrong, and he writes a letter to her asking her to marry him.
Dorian was acting selfishly before, not realizing what he had said to Sibyl and its dramatic effect it has on her. “What are you now? A third-rate actress with a pretty face” were his words to her, harsh and like a slap in the face if you. This dramatic monologue shows the cruelty in Dorian’s actions toward Sibyl and how they made him feel guilty later on. When Dorian writes the letter, he purifies his soul because he learns that what he did to Sibyl was wrong and that he should try to amend his mistakes.
This good action causes Dorian’s soul to be cured because his senses push him to learn from his faults. If Dorian did not learn from his mistake, he would not care about what Sibyl would be going through, and therefore his soul would still be tarnished. Because of his senses, Dorian realizes his blunder and tries to fix it, in turn making him pure and noble. Ultimately, both Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and the stranded boys from Lord of the Flies by William Golding were curing their souls by their senses and curing their senses by their souls.
This idea in theory seems to be one with flaws, but as one can realize now, one’s mind is something that needs to be cleansed of, and removed of sin in order to think properly and sanely. This can only be done through understanding one’s environment and one’s actions. Without sanity, one has no way of having a purely good soul. It is a part of human nature to act radical, but what is also part of human nature is to accept one’s mistakes and attempt to reform them.