Longstudent3456
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Hi ! I need advice on comparing ‘The Picture Of Dorian Grey ‘ and ‘The Bloody Chamber ‘ for my English coursework. I want to explore the theme of the corruption of innocence but I am stuck on what sub-themes to write about.
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RazzzBerries
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I've read neither but mindmap what you connote with the word innocence and it should help to create your sub themes.

From the mindmap, fit the words in a Venn Diagram with both texts as headings. The ones that intersect should be the ones you choose.
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Jaegis
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I'm studying TBC for my coursework too and I've read Dorian Gray, so I should be able to help! What do you mean by "sub-themes" - the points you make in your essay?

Also, would it be worth changing your question to something about just "innocence" or "corruption" to expand your area of focus? That could help if you're struggling to find points to make. And, sorry for so many questions - are you looking at just The Bloody Chamber, or at the other stories in the collection too? And is your edition of Dorian Gray the one with the later chapters on James Vane?

For ideas, I recommend first looking for patterns individually in the texts, on corruption of innocence, and then looking for links between the texts. Once you have a rough idea of your line of argument and have some key quotes to work with, you can start looking for sub-themes to explore more. A few ideas;


Something to do with corruption of women by men - it's been a while since I read Dorian Gray, but there could be something to do with Sibyl Vane there? And the bloody chamber almost revolves around that. Around halfway through the protagonist even realises that her husband the Marquis desires her because of her innocence - is he trying to take pleasure in corrupting it? In keeping it until the end? You decide!

Corruption by art - obviously the portrait of Dorian does this, and then in bloody chamber there are lots of dark and pornographic paintings, and the collection of the Marquis' pornography too. Try looking up the Marquis de Sade and Angela Carter's book "The Sadeian Woman" for some background info on that kind of thing.

Something to do with religion - dorian gray makes a faustian bargin, also known/thought of as a deal with the devil - look up Dr Faust for background info on that. And in The Bloody Chamber, the protagonist is associated heavily with St Cecilia, the patron saint of music who refused to give up her virginity (which many view/would have viewed as corruption) on her wedding night.


Their marginalised identities may also relate to your points - Wilde as a homosexual man and Carter as a woman, possibly something there?

Hope this helps! DM me at any time if you want to talk it through - I think you've chosen a really good comparison here, and I'll be happy to help! I assume you're doing a-levels too?
Last edited by Jaegis; 4 months ago
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Longstudent3456
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[quote=Jaegis;95338590]I'm studying TBC for my coursework too and I've read Dorian Gray, so I should be able to help! What do you mean by "sub-themes" - the points you make in your essay?

Also, would it be worth changing your question to something about just "innocence" or "corruption" to expand your area of focus? That could help if you're struggling to find points to make. And, sorry for so many questions - are you looking at just The Bloody Chamber, or at the other stories in the collection too? And is your edition of Dorian Gray the one with the later chapters on James Vane?

For ideas, I recommend first looking for patterns individually in the texts, on corruption of innocence, and then looking for links between the texts. Once you have a rough idea of your line of argument and have some key quotes to work with, you can start looking for sub-themes to explore more. A few ideas;


Something to do with corruption of women by men - it's been a while since I read Dorian Gray, but there could be something to do with Sibyl Vane there? And the bloody chamber almost revolves around that. Around halfway through the protagonist even realises that her husband the Marquis desires her because of her innocence - is he trying to take pleasure in corrupting it? In keeping it until the end? You decide!

Corruption by art - obviously the portrait of Dorian does this, and then in bloody chamber there are lots of dark and pornographic paintings, and the collection of the Marquis' pornography too. Try looking up the Marquis de Sade and Angela Carter's book "The Sadeian Woman" for some background info on that kind of thing.

Something to do with religion - dorian gray makes a faustian bargin, also known/thought of as a deal with the devil - look up Dr Faust for background info on that. And in The Bloody Chamber, the protagonist is associated heavily with St Cecilia, the patron saint of music who refused to give up her virginity (which many view/would have viewed as corruption) on her wedding night.


Their marginalised identities may also relate to your points - Wilde as a homosexual man and Carter as a woman, possibly something there?

Hope this helps! DM me at any time if you want to talk it through - I think you've chosen a really good comparison here, and I'll be happy to help! I assume you're doing a-levels





Thank you very much for your helpful reply ! Yes I am doing A-levels and by sub-themes I mean the points I am going to make. In class we are using the Penguin Classics edition of Dorian Grey which I believe does include the later chapters about James Vane.

My main title for my essay is “Gothic literature is concerned with the corruption of the innocent ,through the influence of others” do you have any ideas of topic sentences for this? For Dorian Grey I believe the person who influences him is Lord Henry and in TBC it is of course the Marquis !

I love your ideas about corruption through the arts and religion , really unique! I will definitely use them and I had no idea the protagonist in TBC was associated with St Cecilia !

Thanks you very much for your time 😊
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