Morality in C.S. Lewis' "That Hideous Strength" and

Topics: Morality, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde Pages: 4 (786 words) Published: February 16, 2006
The crucial theme present throughout C.S. Lewis' "That Hideous Strength" and Oscar Wilde's

"The picture of Dorian Gray" is morality, and how it can be influenced. The main characters in C.

S. Lewis' novel, Mark and Jane Studdock, go through very contradicting paths and join opposite in

objectives, organizations; at the same time they share similar feelings (solitude, confusion,

paranoia) and carry out immoral actions in the attempt to run away from the problems.

On the other hand, in Oscar Wilde's novel, the young, beautiful, inexperienced, naïve, Dorian

Gray; influenced by his new friend Lord Henry Wotton, forgets his moral values and lives in

constant pursuit of individual pleasure. The characters find themselves in different situations, but

prove the same statement that an unstable human mind can easily be influenced and forced into


The main characters in both of the novels, are fooled into the dangerous influences because of their own

youthfulness, naivety, and lack of experience. Dorian Gray listens to Lord Henry due to the lack of a

strong parental figure in his life. Dorian was raised by his rich uncle who left Dorian to live his life the

way he chose to, that made him vulnerable to influences. In C.S. Lewis' novel, The National Institute of

Co-ordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.), fools Mark by offering him a new job. The high payroll convinces

Mark to join the N.I.C.E. Jane's peculiar gift (the ability to predict the future in her dreams ) makes her

wanted by the N.I.C.E. agents, they intimidate her and she becomes mentally unstable. The doubt that

Jane has regarding the choice between her friends and the N.I.C.E. puts humanity in danger. What looks

like an obvious choice proves to be difficult for Jane to handle under pressure.

Although the main characters in these novels represent the same theory, the environments in which;

Dorian, Mark and Jane act, are...
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