The Picture of Dorian Gray


Oscar Wilde is the writer of a famous book, The Picture of Dorian Gray. This book is one of the unique philosophical novels ever written down by man. The book was first published in the year 1981.

We shall hereby discuss in summary the details of the plot of this novel. The novel talks about a very beautiful young man called Dorian who impressed an artist by the name Basil Hallward. Basil makes a beautiful portrait, also known as the picture of Dorian Gray. His attraction towards young man’s innocence makes him feels he should not be exposed to corruption including being influenced by Lord Henry. The young man, however, meets Lord Henry and with time creates other personal interests, neglecting the old friend, Basil. Dorian makes a wish that the picture should age the beauty fade instead of him.

In chapter one, we see Basil in his studio with the beautiful portrait of Dorian. He warns Lord Henry not to influence the boy with his bad behavior. In chapter two, Dorian follows Lord Henry and begins to change behaviors. It follows that in the next chapter Lord Henry goes to find out the background of Dorian. Back to the story, Dorian falls in love with a beautiful actress, Sibyl and they get engaged. Very different from what Lord Henry would have expected, Dorian sees Sibyl as genius opposite to Lord Henry’s wife who’s totally shallow in finer things of the world. In proceeding chapters, Sibyl is too much infatuated with Dorian until her talent begins to dim. She gets dumped by Dorian and commits suicide. Dorian’s picture turns crueler. This marks the beginning of Dorian’s horrible and selfish lifestyle. He however remains young as his portrait grows old and ugly, depicting his wicked soul. He even kills Basil! He however finally decides to do good deeds in order to improve the appearance of the picture. To his disappointment, it only gets worse. This prompts him to destroy the portrait with the same knife he used to kill Basil. Mysteriously, the portrait restores its youth while Doran lays dead old and ugly.

The Picture of Dorian Gray reflects the nature of human beings where everyone is almost obsessed by youthfulness. The novel reminds us that aging is a valuable thing. When we concentrate on physical beauty we tend to neglect the soul which is tarnished by sins.

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