In the road of life, there are many paths to be taken, but one needs to make a path of their own. Young adults are pressured into taking this leap from following other's paths, to create a path of their own, and to finally discover who they are and to live how they want to live. Society, from the moment a person is born, puts ideal lifestyles in one's head, and shows the different ways to live, not yet giving one the opportunity to discover who they are. This creates turmoil in teenagers" lives, since it's hard to create their own personal identity without being influenced by others" morals and values on how to live their lives. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence, both explore the struggles young adults have in creating their own identity, and how they live by it. Society, friends, and family all take part in influencing how one lives their life, but each person ultimately has to figure out who they are for themselves. The struggle for personal identity is evident as the theme in both novels through the conflicting morals and values in Dorian Gray and Paul Morel's lives.
Through a chaotic tone of morals and values, the struggle for personal identity comes into play as the theme in The Picture of Dorian Gray. The tone gives an impression of what the main character was going through. Dorian Gray and Paul Morel had no clue who they truly were. They were simply mirroring a shadow of others" morals and values that have been thrown at them over the years. Wilde writes how these morals and values are thrown at Dorian Gray through Lord Henry, ""Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing."" (Wilde 23) Right from the start, when the reader is introduced, muddled ideas show Dorian the direction to a path who someone else has made. Dorian sees this path as a new way to live, and becomes confused about who he is by following this path.