The Picture of Dorian Gray Character Development and Maturity: A Psychological/Psychoanalytic Perspective

In the world of fiction, as in life itself, some characters are likeable, while others are not. Some mature and others remain arrested in a particular phase of development. Applying a psychological or psychoanalytic perspective to The Picture of Dorian Gray, what can be said about the underlying reasons for Dorian’s perpetual immaturity? In what phase is Dorian stuck and why? Is there any evidence about his background that is relevant to build your argument? What are Dorian’s symptoms that indicate his developmental delay? Could it be argued that Dorian Gray is mentally ill? This essay requires a relatively high degree of familiarity with psychological and psychoanalytic theory. One excellent source to consider using is Erik Erikson’s “Eight Ages of Man,” which can be found in his book Childhood and Society.

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