Essay on The Picture of Dorian Gray help: Traditionally, faustian tales contain explicit

Traditionally, faustian tales contain explicit depictions of the protagonist’s pact with the devil, giving a clearly defined source for his later woes. But the closest Wilde comes to identifying the reason for the portrait’s metaphyisical powers is in chapter 8, when Dorian wonders if there is somehow “some subtle affinity between the chemical atoms, that shaped themselves into form and colour on the canvas, and the soul that was within.” Wilde seems content to leave the actual mechanism by which the portrait ages and withers instead of Dorian completely unexplained. How does this affect our overall impression of the novel? How would the work be different if it included, for instance, a scene in which Mephistofoles appears and has Dorian sign a contract?

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