Few ideas are considered important when discussing the Victorian era; two main ideas stand out throughout the period, which are the importance of art and perfection in a personality.
One Historian said, “The Victorian era ushered in great literary and poetic works from famous artist who published their masterpieces in the Americas. Aestheticism, a movement emphasizing artistic values over social or moral themes and popularized by Oscar Wilde [sic]” (The Victorian Era). The importance of art is shown in many literary works describing the Victorian era and especially in those of Wilde. George P. Landow, a Professor of English and the History of Art at Brown University, referring to the importance of art as “their importance derives from the increasing democratization of the art public in Victorian England.” This shows how art is important in everyday society.
The same can be said for Oscar Wilde and The Picture Of Dorian Gray. Through vivid imagery and illuminating symbolism, Wilde shows the importance of art and perfection in Victorian lifestyles.
Sibyl Vane exemplifies the idealistic perfection that everyone in the Victorian era tries to live up to. On page 50 Dorian is talking about when he first meets Sibyl Vane, upon first sight he says, “She was the loveliest thing I have ever seen in my life” (Wilde).
He has never talked to her before, but Dorian just believes she is perfect because of the way she acts, and because she is perfect Dorian falls madly in love with her. The writer from Victoria’s Past says, “looking deeper for the acquirements which serve to form our ideal of a perfect woman. The companion of man should be able to sympathize with him and her intellect should be as well developed as his. We do not believe in the mental inequality of the sexes; we believe that the man and the woman have each a work to do, for which they are specially qualified, and in which they are called to.