Beyond Hatred: Hypocrisy

Prompt: Lord Henry has an irrefutable influence over many impressionable people, and one can argue that this is the ultimate evil. However, it is evident that Henry is incapable of taking his advice, so does the true evil lie within his lack of bite to his bark?

             “Some liars are so expert, they deceive themselves”. ~Austin O’malley

        Growing up, we are taught that hatred is a strong word reserved for only the most passionate of betrayals. Our influences told us that to hate is to despise ourselves. Indeed, hatred hinders relationships from growing, and us from learning. Anytime we expose ourselves to hatred we make ourselves vulnerable as our emotions overcome our logic , and we are easier to hurt. For instance, enemies that see nothing but hatred towards each other shall never learn of the others weaknesses or thoughts, but will only see their actions. Those that allow themselves to realize that hatred is merely an emotion, they begin to realize what truly hinders their victory. Hatred is a weak and shallow word.

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“All warfare is based on deception”~ Sun Tzu


Deception is far stronger and more evil of a word than hatred. We can influence the world to seek a life of pleasure, but it is nearly impossible to realize we are doing the very actions we fought against. It is human nature to analyze the actions of our peers far more in depth rather than our own. This is where we introduce our dear friend Lord Henry. Henry was an influential and well respected individual that was praised for his use of rhetoric and diction. His persuasive language was irresistible because it spoke to our guilty pleasures. We knew what he was saying was evil, but we could not help but listen. Just as Dorian knew of Henry’s horrific world views, he was still persuaded to hatred himself. As a result of his words, Dorian became enthralled with passion, and deceived everyone including himself. The war he fought within himself was so powerful it consumed him entirely until his untimely death.

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“and don’t try to persuade me that the first good action I have done for years, the first little bit of self sacrifice I have ever known, is really a sort of sin!” ~ Dorian Gray


Why was Lord Henry himself never driven to madness? Was it due to his experience, or rather his lack of empathy towards anyone at all? He was never known to see people with emotions, rather he saw their sorrows as learning experiences. Much like many schools of today, we are taught not see evil as a simple act of madness, but as something we can take and learn from to better our own existence. We all have this aspect of Lord Henry in our daily lives, and we are not aware of it until it is far too late. Little do we know that we are much like Dorian, and that if we conform to the influences in our lives, we will be just fine. However, if we are to resist we shall end up cursed much like Dorian. Yet, once more, if we are the influences themselves we abuse the powers we are given, and see the world in a far more cynical point of view. The cynics would say that existence itself is a sin, and that it self is an element of hypocrisy. We can not escape hypocrisy, no matter which side you decide to take within the warfare that life is. This is the reason Lord Henry was never driven to madness himself. He was simply more in power than those he influenced.


“However, it is evident that Henry is incapable of taking his advice, so does the true evil lie within his lack of bite to his bark?” Tim Shamirzayev


The Lord Henry in each of our lives influences the never ending cycle of cynicism that ends in the destruction of some, and the corruption of others. They are perhaps the most dangerous not because of their influence, but because of their endless cycle of self-deception.

When Henry said he would never partake in writing his own book, he lied .

His greatest selling novel was Dorian himself.

When Henry said that marriage was foolish, he lied.

He was married for quite some time to Victoria.

                  Lord Henry is a static character throughout the events of the novel, and even beyond that. His jealously only painted a more hideous portrait of himself for other to see, but admire. Humans will call anything art, and be forever amazed by it, no matter how hideous. La Giaconda, otherwise known as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, is an average piece of artwork only popularized because it was stolen. In addition, people were fascinated with anything Leonardo, and would analyze the portrait for decades finding only that it was a portrait done by Leonardo Da Vinci. Hence, humans unhealthy ability to be fascinated by people or items simply because of the influence it has over others. This is Lord Henry. He will continue to be admired far past his death due to his use of diction and syntax to persuade anyone into his own cynical cycle. Hence why the author of this blog takes the time to analyze a devil that merely enforces a never ending cycle of cynicism and ignorance. He was simply another victim to Henry’s words, and just like Dorian, was in love with him.

        “The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold”


                    Lord Henry changed the world through his words, and so did figures such as Adolf Hitler. However, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King did just that too. The danger is not knowing, and continuing the cycle of influence that favours the Lord Henry, whilst demonizing the Dorian.

Why else do you think this blog is not about Dorian Gray?


           So, does hatred truly seem that powerful anymore? It is those that fail to realize the influence they have over others, and those exact people will always fail to listen to the actions they preach. They are the true dangers in our lives, and no one knows about it. They further hatred and cynicism regardless of what they fight for.

We are all hypocrites, and the ignorance of not knowing so reveals that we are all, at the soul, Lord Henry when we tell our facades that we are Dorian Gray.

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5 thoughts on “Beyond Hatred: Hypocrisy

  1. Dear Tim,

    Wow! This is a great piece, and really has given me insight into the way your mind thinks, seeing as how you are new. However, after reading this, I can tell that with a train of thought like this, you definitely have an AP mind.
    Stylistically, I really enjoyed the way in which after every paragraph of analysis, you would put a relevant quote. This gives readers the ability to soak in what you have just said with a pause, and connect the quote effectively to what you just said. I also liked how you changed the positioning of the text for dramatic effect.
    In the above writing, you did a great job outlining the difference between hatred and other character elements that would drive a character such as Lord Henry. By comparing him to real life figures, you bring this fictional character into a realm of understanding, as readers are able to compare and contrast him to more familiar individuals. I believe you did an excellent job touching on the prompt stated the beginning; however, I would have liked to see perhaps a little more writing about the hypocritical nature of Lord Henry, as the prompt implies.
    Also, a quick little improvement to be had is the minimal GUMPS errors i spotted in the piece. A tip would be to read your writing out loud to yourself, and see if you are missing any words or commas that affect the flow.
    Great work Tim, and I can’t wait for more!

  2. Tim,

    You’re so incredibly wise, the first few lines you wrote blew me away, because its not everyday when an 11th grader spits out the maturity of a grown man.

    I just want you to know that, after having read this, I think you’ve been holding back on us, you’re a rhetorical genius my friend. Every instance I found myself unable to argue the opposite because you’ve displayed such truth in such an intelligent that to deny it would be foolish. This is a strength that I beg you utilize, exercise and develop in you time as an AP student because I see the potential for your writing to be as an exemplar of what to do right on a rhetorical analysis essay. I’m thoroughly impressed with you as a writer and I think that if in class you spoke we would all be enlightened by the thoughts that exist in your mind.

    My advice is the same as what Lucas recommends, when you’ve got a great idea, you have a duty to make it even greater by making it your own, then by exploring until you become an expert in it, then you need to teach others about it thoroughly.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and please consider sharing them the instant you get them with our family group because we would be honoured to hear what you have to say.


  3. Dear Tim,
    Truly, you have an aptitude for insightfully analyzing aspects of the human condition and relating it to literature. I had never even considered that Lord Henry could be a symbol of a part of the human soul. He was more of an unrealistic psychopathic individual who represented one extreme of humanity. Beyond that, your method of communicating this idea of yours was very enjoyable, particularly due to the unique structure. By building up from the generalization of the word hatred, your piece became much more personalized to me, to the point where I could accept your statement that “we are all, at the soul, Lord Henry…” (Line 51) despite the implications of such a statement. Furthermore, the organization of the paragraphing gave your piece physical beauty while also allowing for a sort of polished flow. As a person who struggles in both structuring my paragraphs, as well as controlling flow, I would request that help me improve these coveted skills.

    As a reader, I could not, for the life of me, connect with Lord Henry. I couldn’t even partially understand him. There were instances where I thought I’d finally pierced the shell of his character, but that feeling was only temporary. In surrender, I decided that Lord Henry represented an extreme of the human condition that I had never encountered; how would I have ever met a pure-blooded hypocritical psychopath? The Socratic seminar that we had justified this notion for me, since casting Lord Henry as the Devil really meant that he was really just an individual whose purpose was to be an evil influence.

    After experiencing the insight you have on this subject, I believe that I see a part of him which I didn’t see (or perhaps I didn’t want to acknowledge it?). At our essence, we all have a part of Lord Henry. Yes. The quintessence of hypocrisy lives within us. As controversial as the idea is, I find myself inclined to believe it. the reason for that is that you have quite a lot of evidence to back up what you claim, which only ever makes your statements agreeable to a greater degree.

    Given your powerful manipulation of structure, incredibly intriguing ideas, and strong connection to human nature, I found myself rather cornered in trying to provide constructive criticism. Instead, I will offer a suggestion: you may have been able to elaborate on hatred by trying to analyze the hatred within Lord Henry. You already connected with the topic of hatred in introduction and conclusion, but I feel you could have kept that as a looming motif by trying to identify hatred, or the lack thereof, within Henry.

    Overall Tim, I found great enjoyment in reading this piece. Not only did I learn from it, but the piece also had an aesthetic to it which made it very easy to accept. If you ever doubted your ability to critically analyze, you can always look to this piece to find evidence of your talent in analysing literature, particularly in analysing a character who is nearly impossible to connect with. Thank you for expanding my knowledge!


  4. Dearest Family,

    Thank you all so very much for your kindest words. You are all such wonderful friends of mine, and I will never forget to be infinitely grateful to have you all!
    Moving into the AP environment filled with people I never knew, but always looked up to, I never believed anyone would truly care to look after me through the various struggles I had faced even before the first class started. I never read the books we were assigned, and hadn’t even thought about the data sheets.
    It was then Hunni put us together in our amazing family, and I instantly felt at peace in a place where I was the only one that felt an outcast. You comforted and reassured me that everything would be alright, even when everyone told me I could never do it, and that I was a fool for taking on a challenge far greater than myself. You gave me someone to talk to when I would sit quietly at my own desk reading and politely nodding during class discussions.
    You are my mentors, and I’m so blessed to have such incredible and wise friends to help me grow and learn about literature as a whole! Thank you once again for these comments, and I will most certainly look into taking the notes you gave to help me grow.
    But thank you for making AP feel like home. Without you all, I would sit in my own corner without a friend to talk to, or a fighting spirit to continue my journey in AP English.

  5. Tim,

    When I remember your first blog as I read your second one, I am in awe. You have already grown so much and I am so happy to see that AP is treating you well, but this is also in part because of you. I can tell that you absorb the things around you to help you learn, and accept grows with a humble attitude.

    Your insight in this post is one that shows you know the book The Picture of Dorian Gray, and know how to look in between its lines for more depth. Amazing job at connecting your ideas about the characters to the human condition, it helps readers resonate in a way with Lord Henry in a way they hadn’t before. It helps remind us that Lord Henry is a human like all of us.

    As a grow, I was about to say that you should read it out loud to make sure everything flows but I see Lucas has beat me to it. (Instead, I’ll have to search the depths of my mind to find another grow) Sometimes the formatting on the paragraphs wasn’t consistent. Near the end, the words were centered towards the middle but as I looked at your other paragraphs I felt that it needed to be in the block like format to the left of the page. I would just say that the key to formatting is consistency.

    I feel honoured to have read this piece! I can’t wait to see you grow even more, keep on writing! You truly belong in AP.


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