The Picture of Dorian Gray
Art and Culture Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
"The world has cried out against us both, but it has always worshipped you. It always will worship you. You are the type of what the age is searching for, and what it is afraid it has found. I am so glad that you have never done anything, never carved a statue, or painted a picture, or produced anything outside of yourself! Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets." (19.9)
Lord Henry's observation is an apt one – Dorian's life is indeed his art. Little does he know how true his casual comment is. And if he could see what "art" really did come of Dorian's life, would he still think it praiseworthy?
"Art has no influence upon action. It annihilates the desire to act. It is superbly sterile. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. That is all." (19.10)
This idea of art simply revealing what's already wrong in the world echoes Lord Henry and Dorian's excuses for their sins – the idea that sin is latent even in the innocent person.