How do themes, morals, or views compare or contrast in The Picture of Dorian Gray and Wuthering Heights?

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Both Dorian Gray and Wuthering Heights are about passion and the irrationality of love. Both have a dark, Gothic atmosphere, but Dorian Gray is a more sophisticated novel with more ironic humor.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Wuthering Heights are from very different periods and are stylistically quite different.

Both novels do involve romantic relationships which are fundamentally unhealthy, where passion overwhelms common sense and moral judgement in certain characters. On the other hand, there are major differences in these romantic...

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plots—with Wilde's work having strong homoerotic undertones while Brontë's story is overtly heterosexual. Furthermore, Wilde's work emphasizes desire as aesthetic and sensual and Brontë's emphasizes passion.

The setting is important in both works, but Brontë sets her novel in the Yorkshire countryside and conveys a romantic sense of the windswept moors. Wilde's work, on the other hand, is both urban and urbane.

While Brontë's characters are visceral and passionate, driven by emotions they themselves barely understand, Wilde's characters are sophisticated and decadent with an ironic self-awareness. Ennui and the search for novelty are as much as motivation as immediate emotional reactions.

Finally, while Brontë's work is straightforwardly a Gothic Romance in nature, Wilde's is ironic and witty—though The Picture of Dorian Gray also has all the hallmarks of a Gothic novel.

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In both novels, a main character—in Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, Dorian in The Picture of Dorian Gray—uses his power to indulge his dark impulses.

In Heathcliff's case, his dark impulse is to get revenge on both Hindley and Linton by destroying their families. He believes that both men separated him from Catherine. In Dorian's case, it is to life a live of debauchery without showing the effects of it on his body.

Both men are able to achieve their goals, though in both cases, the means are mysterious. Heathcliff, who disappears for three years after hearing Catherine say she will marry Linton, comes back a mysteriously changed man. From a degraded farmhand, he has become a well-dressed, well-to-do, and polished gentleman. While the surmise is that he entered the army, we are never told what happened during those three years.

Dorian is also able to achieve his goal. His means are mysterious in a different way: somehow, supernaturally, his portrait ages in his stead.

Both men engage in destructive acts: Dorian cruelly rejects Sybil, who commits suicide, while Heathcliff destroys Isabella's life by marrying and abusing her. Heathcliff kills Isabella's dog while Dorian murders Basil. Heathcliff treats young Catherine Linton cruelly when he has her in his power, in one scene slapping her face repeatedly.

Both men, however, give up their dark ambitions in the end. Dorian stabs his portrait in distress, killing himself by this act. Heathcliff, realizing somehow that he will soon be united in death with his beloved Catherine, loses his will to destroy the love growing between the young Catherine and Hareton.

Both novels condemn the behavior of their protagonist. What makes each novel compelling, however, is that we can identify to some extent with the protagonists' desires, if horrified by their actions.

The two novels differ, however, in that Wuthering Heights shows the childhood that created the monster inside Heathcliff, while Dorian comes to the reader fully grown (if not yet 20), with no childhood backstory to explain his motivations.

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Both novels are Gothic, and the Gothic genre involves the manifestation of passion, evil, the supernatural, horror, and darkness throughout the story. Dorian Gray is slightly more supernatural than Wuthering Heights.

The main characters, Heathcliff and Dorian are near- sociopaths. Although Heathcliff came from poverty as an orphan, he still grew up a dangerously ambitious and cruel man. He is etremely vicious and cruel to his wife, and keeps Catherine as a lover. However, they are only fascinated by each other because they are hedonistic and narcissistic.

Dorian is, of course fascinated by himself as well, and when he sells his soul to keep himself forever young, he also became more and more cruel and evil to others. Similarly to Heathcliff, he was cruel and evil to the actress whom he had proposed to marry. So cruel, in face, that she killed herself- as did other mysterious and non-identified characters in the story- on account of Dorian's destructive presence and corrupt nature.

Both novels are also similar in that they distinguish the social classes and mention their differences throughout the story, and that they are both began, developed and ended with the death of the biggest moving force, which in each novel are Heathcliff and Dorian.

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