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.
“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.
“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.