Oscar Wilde’s Portrayal Of The Faustian Pact As Described In His Book, The Picture Of Dorian Grey

What would one person do to remain young forever? Would they make a Faustian Pact? Faustian pacts occur when someone gives up their soul in exchange for a thing they think they cannot survive without. In Oscar Wildes, The Picture of Dorian Grey Dorian Grey agrees to a Faustian deal by saying he will exchange his soul for a painting in order to be forever young. He struggles with his decision whether to keep or break the deal throughout chapter VIII. Dorian makes the deal because he wants to be young forever and he fears losing it.

Dorian Grey makes the first move to seal the agreement, mainly because he wants to remain young. This is a time when youth is incredibly powerful. Beautiful people are idolized and they get whatever they want. Dorian was determined to keep this. Dorian thought to himself, as he struggled to make a decision: “Who in the world would risk losing this opportunity of being forever young? Dorian’s temptation to stay forever young is strong. “Nobody would ever give up this chance to be young forever if it was possible.” Today, people pay large sums of money for botox injections and pills to stay younger. You are respected by others because you’re young. Lord Henry advised Dorian to keep his youth as long as he could because it was not something that can be reclaimed. If you lose youth, you’ll also lose the ability to be talked about and wealth. Dorian wants to keep his youth. He worries that if his youth is lost, nobody will want to talk about it and he’ll become a nobody. Dorian does NOT want to be unimportant. His youth is what makes him who he truly is.

Dorian battles with himself to determine whether he will keep the agreement or not. Dorian signs the agreement because he wants to be young forever and is afraid of losing it. He wants always to be young in order to commit evil deeds. He is afraid to lose his youth as he will become a nobody. Dorian can’t decide whether living a normal life or remaining young forever is worse. Dorian is forced to decide between his soul and his youth.



Makhi is a 34 yo educational blogger who is passionate about writing and exploring new content ideas. She has a degree in English from the University of Utah and is currently working as a teacher in a public school in Utah. Makhi has been published in numerous online journals and has been featured on national television networks.