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Looking At Dorian Gray English Literature Essay

Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe use the narrators voice and icons to mirror mental-illnesses in their main people and this similarity in the use allows a descriptive research. Therefore, this prolonged essay requires one of the relations between books and psychology and the research problem was: How do the voice of the narrator and the icons support the mental building of Dorian Grey inside the Picture of Dorian Gray and the Narrator in Tell-Tale Center? Moreover, it will probably be worth noting that the situation was analysed under a literary way with a emotional methodology as a support and this research briefly analyses how these literary elements highlights the character's brain.

The research is divided in two parts, the first is a synopsis to analyse the variables expressed in the study question: the narrator's tone of voice and his viewpoint, the narrative fragments, the symbolism and the internal construction of individuals. Subsequently, the second part reveals the analysis about how the narrator's words and the icons support the psychological engineering of Dorian Grey and the Narrator in Tell-Tale Heart and soul. As a result, it was stated the relationship of support between your variables checking the usages in both literary works.

Finally, I can conclude by stating that in both literary works, the narrator's tone of voice strengthens and corroborates the idea of the character's mental ailments; it also deeps in the protagonists' brains and expedites the development. For the icons, they signify the mental state of the protagonists and the elements which disturb them. They support and expedite the psychological building by punctuating and elucidating their mad part.

Word Count number: 263




INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

CHAPTER I: LITERARY ELEMENTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The Tone of the Narrator and his Viewpoints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Narrative Fragments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Symbolism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Psychological Development of Individuals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

CHAPTER II: THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF DORIAN AS WELL AS THE NARRATOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The Narrator's mental health structure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Dorian Gray's mental health construction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

CONCLUSIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

BIBLIOGRAPHY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde were two important writers in the 19th century; the former was from United States, he had written The Tell-Tale Heart and soul in 1843 and his narrative presents Gothic and special elements; his narrators often present some mental disorders. The second option was from Great Britain, he published The Picture of Dorian Gray in 1890 and his narrative presents a lot of descriptions and his enigmatic people generally are handled by their passions. Both creators emphasize the mental disorder of their characters.

Thence derives the study question: how do the words of the narrator and the icons support the mental health construction of Dorian within the Picture of Dorian Gray and the Narrator inside the Tell-Tale Heart and soul? This research will demonstrate that the narrators' voices and the symbols support and expedite the psychological structure of both people by punctuating and elucidating their mental diseases.

My personal purpose is my admiration for both authors because I like their narrative and their works are the most read in Peru. Furthermore, I wish to demonstrate the importance of the mental health way in the individuals' engineering because through its examination we can understand them better.


The Words of the Narrator and his Viewpoints

The narrator is the fiction teller of the literary work and what employed by him are believed as the narrator's words. This tone of voice can tell the storyline from different tips of view like in first, second or third person. In Oscar Wilde's reserve, he presents a third-person narrator in his novel that is omniscient. Alternatively, Allan Poe presents a first-person narrator that is also a personality. The features of both narrators are shown within the next chart:

Made by Angel Hernandez Ortega

Narrative Fragments

Every story can use three narrative methods: The narration itself, the descriptions and dialogues or speeches. The author combines the information and dialogues in several ways to make the narration more enriching. Regarding characters, the information provide an improved picture of them, also show different aspects of them that help to have an improved comprehension.

The dialogues or speeches could be interactions between character types or monologues. They are very important because through the examination with their content the reader can know the character's features and corroborate if all what is said about him holds true. Additional information are added in the following chart:

Made by Angel Hernandez Ortega


Symbolism, as Graham Hough state governments, is "the propensity to exalt the non-discursive elements" (Hough; 1967. p. 128) It includes the hidden messages of things, configurations, characters or actions; it is also the purpose's revelation that the author places those elements in his work. Along with the reader's purpose is to learn that concealed messages.

According to Jonathan Raban, Symbolism also "allows an author to link the limited world of his identity to. . . the systems of prices" (Raban; 1968. p. 101). The icons' analysis is vital to have a much better understanding of the people because the type "acquires a fresh importance when he is seen in the light of his symbolic counterpart" (Raban; 1968. p. 101)

Psychological Construction of Characters

The psychological development focuses its examination on the character's mindset and brain; it considers their behaviour, their thought process, what they say or how many other character types say about them, the icons and other aspects. Mindset as Richards Ivor considers: is an "try to describe brain" (Richards; 1961. p. 82) and is essential in the development of people because through its understanding the audience can determine their personality and have a better comprehension of these. Therefore this prolonged article analyses the mental development from the narrator's words and symbols.


The Narrator's mental construction

The protagonist-narrator in Tell-Tale Heart and soul is a murder who feels observed and controlled by an Vision. Apparently he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia because he depicts some characteristics such as experiencing internal voices, believe other folks can read his head, experiences hallucinations etc. Allan Poe, to create the protagonist's mindset uses the words of the narrator and the symbolical meanings.

The narrator's words is used from the beginning, when the Narrator says: "True! -nervous- very, very dreadfully anxious I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The condition got sharpened my senses. " (Poe; 2010. p. 1). On this cite, the protagonist presents himself as a anxious and ill person. Although, he never mentions what kind of health problems he suffers from, the rhetoric question about his madness gives signals of experiencing a mental disease in any other case he should not speak about it.

Furthermore, it's important to notice that the Narrator repeats what "very" and "nervous". This stresses one characteristic from the schizophrenia that is clearly a disorganized and repeated types of speaking. This technique of echo or duplicating speech is used along the complete story in the narrator's voice. For instance: "Cautiously-oh, so cautiously-cautiously. . . how stealthily, stealthily" (Poe; 2010. p. 1).

"It had been open-wide, widely open. . . I changed it slowly-very, very slowly and gradually hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! (Poe; 2010. p. 1). These slurred and distorted speeches show the protagonist's desperation to flee from his guilt; confirming at the same time the thought of a mental-ill narrator which has been so harshly damaged that even his conversation has been broken.

Concurrently, the vast majority of words are adjectives used to spell it out how the murder was completed, thus he shows his satisfaction. This demonstrates that the Narrator cannot go through the moral outcomes of his actions because sane people will be afraid at the thought of killing someone; rather, this character things that it's normal and justified to eliminate other people. Additionally he considers the murder as an achievements and this dreadful idea demonstrates what lengths his illness has truly gone.

The idea of hearing inside voices is shown in the following excerpt: "I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. . . in hell. . . am I mad" (Poe; 2010. p. 1). In this situation his madness of reading strange things goes with the hyperbole of experiencing them from the earth, heaven and hell. This means that something has modified his brain and has started to have auditory hallucinations of voices from physical-non-existent places, redounding in his delirium.

It is important to understand the repeated rhetoric question about the Narrator's mental disease and its own purpose. The narrator's words is constantly requesting him or even to the audience whether he's mad or the reader considers him as a crazy person. This features the insecurity about his inner perspective and contributes to think that the protagonist will not know himself; thus the thought of his madness is strengthened.

Nevertheless he never recognizes his mental problems. For instance: You ought to have seen how smartly I move forward. . . " "Would a madman have been so sensible as this?" (Poe; 2010. p. 1). Thence the protagonist's insistence in demonstrating his sanity is a double-edged sword that acts to intensify the thought of his madness because of the fact that this anxious desire to influence everyone at all costs really annoys and it is a nuisance for the reader. Thus the writer compels to think that the Narrator is insane.

The narrator's speech continues along the whole story with this bothering approach which causes believe the Narrator is demented, for example: "If still you think me mad, you will think so no more when I illustrate the wise safety measures I got for the concealment of the body. " (Poe; 2010. p. 1). It is vital to appreciate that no one is judging him of being mad, alternatively he judges himself.

This demonstrates that there exists a certain something inside him which is obviously reminding his malady. The interior something could be his torturing guilt conscience and through the showing of his murder the Narrator tries to reduce it. Nonetheless that strategy does not work completely because, as it was shown, his tone of voice reflects a needy and afflicted man.

Although the first-person-narrator will try to speak in ways to cover up his schizophrenia, this make an effort is overshadow by the echo technique and the repeated rhetoric questions along the whole story. Therefore the key aim of the consumption of the narrator's voice is to highlight and represent his madness rather than concealing it. It really is evidenced in this excerpt: " am I mad? Hearken! and observe healthily-how calmly I can tell you the whole storyline. " (Poe; 2010. p. 1). Hence it could be explained that his vaunt of self-control is a self-betrayal since it shows the contrary.

From this, the narrator's words helps to explore the Narrator's brain and psychology. However, other supporting factor is the invisible meaning of symbols. In Tell-Tale Heart the central icon is the attention; the secondary icons are the Old Man's body, the Watch, the Lantern and so forth. As it was shown previously, he is enthusiastic about not recognizing his madness, in any other case he shouldn't require it way too many times. Simultaneously, he's obsessed with the Old Man's eye that bothers him.

The past idea is depicted in this passing: "I think it was his eye! yes, it was this!" (Poe; 2010. p. 1). But, why this part of the body and what is it doing to him? Associated with that this Eyeball comports as a conscience's regulator, which explains to him that he has something bad and questions his functions. Moreover it is better than another part of the body to signify the feeling of being gazed. When he tries to reduce The Eye it means that he tries to silence his conscience which reminds his mental problems.

Also it is important to consider the analogy with the Old Man's vision as well a vulture's eyesight: "One of is own eyes resembled that of a vulture" (Poe; 2010. p. 1). First of all, just because a vulture is a bird which flies above us and following that it can easily see almost everything that occurs below therefore it can also see the Narrator's intentions, feelings and head. Poe might have made this symbol-metaphor, to show how the narrator is upset at being watched and even controlled by it, confirming the concept of paranoia.

Due to the actual fact that the vultures are dark-colored, this could reveal the author's wish to punctuate the Narrator's dark part of schizophrenia. Aside from it, other important idea to consider is the fact that if the attention is like a vulture eyes, this could imply that the narrator is dying inside in his mental deliriums. This unproductive Eye only can easily see in dark-colored symbolizing that the Old Man is the initial person who perceives the narrator's dark side.

As a token of thereof, the Eye is the key reason to get rid of the Old Man and it creates him feel anxious or freeze his bloodstream: "Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran chilly" (Poe; 2010. p. 1). That is an extremist shown of the Narrator's disease because it makes him assume that the attention has superpowers. These hallucinations cause that he cannot distinguish the truth from fantasy. Hence derives his obsession with the Eye, that leads him to feel that if he damages the Eye, it could quiet his excruciating brain.

Example of the foregoing is: ". . . rid myself of the attention for ever. . . He was stone dead. His eyeball would trouble me no more. " (Poe; 2010. p. 1). It demonstrates that the protagonist lives obsessed in an eerie world of hallucination induced by the Eye. As a complement, the Narrator's brain is tormented by the Old Man's death-body and heart and soul which remind his offense. The author shows a mental-ill person through these body and heart and soul because they're constantly troubling the Narrator's muzzy brain.

Moreover, the Watch's audio is weighed against the heart's defeat because its ticks hardly ever times bother people who seek calmness and calm. Within the protagonist's circumstance, he gets annoyed at hearing the ticks because his brain is too much distorted that he cannot even resist the faint sound of the second hand demonstrating the level of the Narrator's head perturbation. It is depicted when the officers talk to the Narrator and he hears the sound.

Poe submits two dialectical symbols that are Darkness and Lantern. The metaphorical connotation of the lantern is the fact it can light up the most darkness places, however in this circumstance, the Narrator preserves the vast majority of light concealed only leaving to escape one ray. This means that the narrator dislike the light and prefers the darkness, because he feels better in a place as dark as his head or because that light can expose the invisible secrets of his head.

The previous notion is shown in "open a. . . very little crevice in the lantern" (Poe; 2010. p. 1). But this sign raises its optimum in its confrontation with the Eye: "an individual thin ray fell upon the vulture eyeball" (Poe; 2010. p. 1). This event is vital; because it elucidates that the Eye is his main distorting element whereby the Narrator has paranoid schizophrenia. In addition, all the Narrator's actions happen at night, because he feels better and familiarized with the darkness, it is evidenced in: "I did so for seven long nights-every night just at midnight" (Poe; 2010. p. 1).

The symbolism of the nameless Narrator means that the protagonist is too much ashamed that he does not want to inform his name. Nevertheless, it allows thinking about the likelihood that the narrator could be feminine. Considering it, all the Narrator's perspective could change significantly, because the conception of the madman and exactly how he provides out his murder is different from a female who's more delicate in his acts.

Finally in this chapter it is elucidated how the tone of voice of the Poe's Narrator functions to explore the internal life of the type and its improved speech represents fortify the notion of schizophrenia. For the icons, they represent the troubling elements for the protagonist and showcase his disease.

Dorian Gray's psychological construction

Dorian Gray is the protagonist of Wilde's reserve; from the beginning is shown as a beauty young man, pure, timid and naive. But he finishes being despicable, obsessed with beauty, youth and pleasure. Ostensibly he suffers from Narcissism, Dysmorphobia and has a Mental Disorder because he shows characteristics like an increased pre-occupation with a defect in his body, delusions of grandeur, carefree of moral beliefs and a strong desire to be young forever. In order to convey these ideas, Wilde uses the narrator's voice and symbols.

In this book Wilde presents a third-person narrator. The narrator utilizes three type of talk: the direct talk or dialogues and descriptions. The first idea of Narcissism commences in a dialogue between Lord Henry and Basil Hallward when Henry sees the family portrait and says: ". . . my dear Basil, he's a Narcissus. . . " (Wilde: 1993; p. 2) This demonstrates that his Narcissism is too much perceptible that it is not essential to meet him to truly have a conception of Dorian.

The narrator's details the character's obsession and Narcissism by mentioning his thoughts, for instance: "He grew increasingly more enamoured of his own beauty" (Wilde: 1993; p. 93) Additionally, his picture enlightens him as a Narcissus when the changes begin to happen, it is elucidated via a narrator's description referring to the canvas change ". . . in boyish mockery of Narcissus" (Wilde: 1993; p. 2). The portrait evidences Dorian's real personality; specifically the narcissistic mockery confirms the protagonist's health issues.

At once this picture is symbolic which takes the role of Dorian's heart, brain, conscience and mirror of his interior. Trough this element, Dorian becomes obsessed with his own beauty because he had not been aware of it, like in this direct conversation: ". . . as though he had known himself for the first time. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 18). Additionally, all the protagonist's sins show up on the canvas and because of this the family portrait becomes unpleasant and old, symbolizing how the Narcissism and egocentrism have devastated his mind.

The family portrait is a educator of Narcissism; it is depicted in the narrator's direct-reported conversation of Dorian: ". . . when one manages to lose one's good looks. . . one manages to lose everything. Your picture has educated me that. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 19). Or when the narrator mentions: "It got taught him to love his own beauty. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 67). Other Narcissism's instructor is Lord Henry, who in a dialogue with Dorian says: "You could have a wonderfully beautiful face" (Wilde: 1993; p. 16). Those elements transform Dorian into a Narcissistic, because they are always reminding him that he is extremely attractive.

On the other hands, Narcissism is also depicted with the adjectives used in the narrator's tone to highlight his beauty such as: Adonis, Prince Charming, Masterpiece (the portrait) and so on. This adjectives are reported in a primary speech trough individuals as Lord Henry: ". . . this young Adonis" (Wilde: 1993; p. 2); Sibyl Vane: "I have to call you Prince Charming" (Wilde: 1993; p. 39) Basil Hallward: "It is my masterpiece" (Wilde: 1993; p. 15); or the own narrator's voice: "He could be made a Titan" (Wilde: 1993; p. 26).

Other Dorian's mind problem is his obsession with young ones. His children shows a capricious personality and makes of him an arrogant because he scorns all individuals who insufficient junior, beauty or charm. He wishes to keep going young forever; this ambition is evidenced when he pronounces: "If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to get old! For that-for that-I would give everything!" (Wilde: 1993; p. 19) The youthful vigour degenerates the protagonist's way of thinking since it makes him to desire junior to all costs.

This persona becomes shallower with Henry's affect. It is demonstrated through dialogues reported by the narrator like: "Realize your youth. . . Youth! Children! There is completely nothing in the world but young ones!" (Wilde: 1993; p. 17). These sorts of ideas lead Dorian to try and symbolize the supremacy of youth transforming him from man to almost an thing. A show that he is a debauched man is the fact that "I really like beautiful things that one may touch and take care of. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 80). It demonstrates that his head only focuses on physical appearance rather than on thoughts.

The character's Narcissism honored his obsession with beauty and youth depicts that Dorian suffers from Dysmorphobia because he shows an increased preoccupation with his own appearance. It is displayed in the following excerpt: "I am jealous of everything whose beauty will not perish. . . of the family portrait" (Wilde: 1993; p. 20) This hyperbole shows how his head has been distorted that he is also jealous of materials things like in "I am a little jealous than it for being a whole month more radiant" (Wilde: 1993; p. 41)

The previous passing highlights Dorian's ageing preoccupation and jealousy of objects. This sickness makes him over-worried about his psychical aspect, thence the narrator explains Dorian as a guy who always is pondering and comparing the beauty and get older of things or people with his own. Furthermore the portrait supports this brain-sickness since it is perpetually reminding his perfect body. Due to the fact that Dorian always looks at the picture, it can be stated that he deems himself as the best expression of youth and beauty.

Dorian's obsession with the picture confirms the diagnosis of Dysmorphobia owing to the fact that it signifies his beauty and a part of him. When Dorian's family portrait starts to change (Section V) he is terrified of its horrible physical transformation and he does not want to simply accept it possibly because he considers that each part of his being should be perfect, even his picture. Hence can be stated that Dorian cannot bear the thought of being without his psychical features and it makes him feel fearful because "youth is the one thing worth having" (Wilde: 1993; p. 16)

The narrator's tone of voice corroborates this mental malady because as a conscience, it handles to identify the reason why of the protagonist's doom. In the following excerpt, it is depicted how the narrator represents his youth and beauty extreme obsessions (Dysmorphobia) as factors behind his mess up: "It had been his beauty that possessed ruined him, his beauty and the junior that he had prayer for. . . His beauty had been to him but a mask, his junior but a mockery. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 162). Thence can be proven that the narrator explains to directly the type of brain-sickness.

The Mental Disorder and change are the most outstanding problems. Evidently, his disorder is rooted in his childhood because in a dialogue between Lord Fermor and Henry Wotton (Chapter III), Fermor mentions that Dorian's family tale have been very unpleasant. The implications of the fact which he is an orphan are Dorian's insufficient love and parental assistance. Also it is displayed through symbols, the principal is his portrait and the supplementary symbols will be the Yellow Publication, Lord Henry, the White Color and Plants, the Opium Dens, Sybil and Basil.

As it was previously mentioned, the family portrait symbolizes Dorian's bad aspect, his conscious and his mind's talk about, moreover it highlights that he's poisoning his soul with all his sins. Therefore it is hard for him to accept his dark area. His move from an innocence number to a repulsive silhouette is because of Henry Wotton and his book. Lord Henry in a dialogue recognizes him as the sin's symbol: "I symbolize to you all the sins. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 58).

Furthermore, Dorian's idolatry to Lord Henry's hedonism put into the Yellow Book represents the door to his down semester because they lead him to react immorally. It is reinforced by the narrator in the following passage: "To a huge scope the lad was his own creation. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 42). Both symbols teach Dorian to pursuit his pleasures, mainly the Yellow E book which represents Henry's harmful affect because it contains the Hedonism tenets that instruct him to reside below his own moral code and lead him to a mental degradation.

The Shade White could be utilized to symbolizes calmness or purity (Combination; 2003. p. 114). Initially Dorian resembles white because he's an innocent person, however in the finish he represents the opposite. This put into the similes between him and bouquets symbolize that he's tender and clean. But in the development of the reserve the repetitions of these metaphors are dwindling until they are not talk about because Dorian's change will not allow being illustrated as a white rose or real.

For illustration in the first chapters the individuals and the narrator use frequently flowers-metaphors: "His mother nature had developed just like a flower, got borne blossoms. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 40). But when Dorian requests bouquets he says: "as few white ones as possible" (Wilde: 1993; p. 229), it shows his transition from light to darkness in his mind's eye because he cannot carry white blossoms that reminds his crazy state of mind. Also the Opium Dens' symbolism signifies the dirty express of Dorian's brain and his corrupt life style. In these places Dorian sidetracked his brain from the abominable of his crime by consuming drugs. Also these places symbolize his reasoning's degradation because drugs distort his conscience.

Other icons which have an effect on Dorian's psychology are Sibyl and Basil because his guilty for the murders is progressively tormenting him. His crisis for Sibyl's demise marks the start of his mental health change. Henceforward the most crucial thing is he and because of this he can kill Basil without remorse. But later these factors are the primary reasons to commit suicide because they weigh closely in his conscience that he cannot resist any longer: "I wish to be good. I cannot bear the idea of my spirit being hideous. " (Wilde: 1993; p. 71). And his suicide is the biggest shown of his mental distortion.

To sum up, in this novel the narrator's words corroborates and provides signs of illness in the protagonist, moreover through his explanations, directed conversation and dialogues, the narrator deeps in Dorian's mind, behaviour and strengthens the notions of Narcissism, Dysmorphobia and Mental Disorder. For the icons, they support every disorder by representing the elements which impacts Dorian and symbolizing his state of mind.


I can conclude by declaring that the narrator's tone of voice and the icons support the internal construction by expediting the emotional construction. Both of them strengthen and corroborate the thought of the character's mental conditions and in this way they catalyze the engineering.

Wilde's narrator support the construction by talking about Dorian through his directs speeches and dialogues. In the same way Poe's narrator through his speeches elucidates his own psychology; thereby the huge part of both constructions are set up As for the symbols, they expedite the building by punctuating and elucidating the heroes' mad aspect. Moreover, the symbols represent the troubling elements such as the Eye or the Family portrait; this provides indicators about their mindset and really helps to deep in their mentality.

However, there are a few remaining problems to be resolved, given the limits of the work, which can be: How exactly does the character types' psychology build the storyline of both reviews? What other narrative techniques are being used to create these characters? And so forth. I am hoping this research as well as the questions will provide to encourage further studies of these literary works.

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