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Oscar Wilde’s Portrayal of the Faustian Pact as Described in His Book, The Picture of Dorian Grey

What lengths might one person go to stay forever young? Would they enter a Faustian pact? A Faustian pact is where a person trades their soul with the devil for something they truly believe they cannot live without. In Oscar Wildes the Picture of Dorian Grey Dorian Grey makes a Faustian pact by saying that he would trade his soul with the portrait so he could stay forever young. Throughout chapter VIII he struggles to decide whether or not he will ultimately keep his deal or end the deal. Dorian seals the pact because of the temptation of always being young and the fear of losing his youth.

First Dorian Grey seals the pact because of the temptation of always being young. Youth is very powerful during this time. People look up to the beautiful people and the beautiful people get everything and anything they want. Dorian did not want to lose this. As Dorian struggled with his decision he thought “who that knew anything about life would surrender the chance of remaining always young however fantastic that chance might be”. Dorian is tempted by the prospect of staying forever young. He says “that no one would give up the chance to stay young forever if they could.” People today pay lots of money just to stay young using botox and taking pills. Being young means that people respect you because they want to be you know one

Next Dorian seals the pact because of the fear of losing his youth. Lord Henry told Dorian to hold on to his youth for as long as possible because once it is gone it is gone and you cannot get it back. Once you lose your youth you will lose the wealth and feeling of being talked about as well. Dorian doesn’t want to lose his youth. He fears that if he loses it no one will care to talk about him and he will become nobody. Everyone wants to feel important when a person feels unimportant they feel a sense of hopelessness and despair and Dorian doesn’t want to feel that. If his loses his youth he loses who he is.

In conclusion throughout chapter VIII Dorian has inner struggles to decide whether or not he will ultimately keep his deal or end the deal. Dorian seals the pact because of the temptation of always being young and the fear of losing his youth. He wants to always be young so he can get away with evil acts. He fears losing his youth because then he will be a nobody. Dorian cannot decide which worse living a regular life is or staying young forever? Dorian has to make the decision based on which one is more important his soul or his youth.

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