The Impact of Psycho-ideological Hero: A Žižekian Study of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

Sara Safa, Jalal Sokhanvar


This paper critically examines psycho-ideological significance of Dorian Gray, on Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Although Wilde’s novel has mostly been read as an aesthetic work of ‘Art for Art’s Sake’, the present research intends to criticize Wilde’s only novel using Žižek’s theories on subjectivity, ideology, and trauma. The brainchild of an indisputable giant literary tradition, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a tactfully designed puzzle that called the Victorian establishment into question. The thick texture of the novel, I argue, lends itself to Žižekian ideological and psychoanalytical theories wherein one can obtain a novel perspective on the issue of subjectivity. The Slovenian philosopher, Slovaj Žižek (b.1949) argues that the subject is divided and always in a transitional process until his death; Dorian is an epitome of such a subjectivity always already in transition.


Subjectivity, Trauma, Ideology, Oscar Wilde, Slovajžižek

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