Oscar Wilde was born in late 19 th century in reign of Victorian era. He was an educated and intelligent man with knowledge of French and German. He was deeply interested in the philosophy of aestheticism when he studied at Oxford. In this well known and controversial novel, author expressed himself and his philosophy. His expressions can be seen in the first two chapters.
When paying close attention we can see in the bottom of page 2 and at the start of page 3,that author is already expressing his personality and his philosophy. The most important sentence in this paragraphs is “But he suddenly started up […], as though he sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream from which he feared he might awake.” This sentence is important, because author wanted to indirectly express his sexuality. Homosexuality wasn’t accepted or understood in 19 th century and author wanted to express that in this sentence.
Another examples of this can be seen in the bottom of the page 7 where Basil talks about his fear of people revealing his secret through the painting (“I am afraid that I have shown with it the secret of my own soul.”), and on pages 8 to 10 where he tells Lord Henry about him seeing and meeting Dorian for the first time where he essentially falls in love (“Our eyes met again.” “He too felt that we were destined to know each other”). Although Basil fears to exhibit his painting, author published this novel even though he knew people will eventually find out. We can see Wildes skills in expressing himself or his thoughts indirectly on page 14 where he puts together his philosophy and his sexuality. He talks about how he expressed his feelings towards Dorian through art and if he would understand those feelings, but in more hidden meaning he also talks about his philosophy of aestheticism. What he tries to say by this is that he discovered new form of art and if the society would understand it and acknowledge it.
This brings us to Wilde describing his philosophy of beauty. We can see this throughout the whole novel, but author mostly describes beautiful and extraordinary people like Sybil Vane and Dorian Gray (“beautiful young girl, with startled eyes and faint blush.”I see him in the curves of certain lines, in the loveliness and the subtleties of certain colors.”). I think that Oscar Wilde was one of the greatest writers in history of art and that his ability to put hidden meanings or messages about society, sexuality or art philosophy made him famous. There is no doubt we learn about his masterpiece in school.