The Picture Of Dorian Gray Summary
- Date:Jun 27, 2019
- Category:The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray is written by Oscar Wilde and the main theme of the novel is surrounding the life of a young beautiful man Dorian whose inner ugliness and corruptness is revealed through a painting that a well-known artist made. The story is about the eventual downfall of the young man due to moral corruption and seduction. Basil Hallward, the artist, Dorian Gary, the young man, and Lord Henry, Basil’s close friend, are the three main characters of the story. And the main element of the story is Dorian’s painting made by Basil. The story unfolds several events that discuss the journey of Dorian from being an innocent young man to being a corrupt immoral old man, and how his painting and the other characters in the story influence him throughout his transformation.
Basil influenced Dorian throughout the novel in many ways. He painted his picture and called it his masterpiece. He gets emotionally attached to Dorian and this shows when he protects him from the influence of Lord Henry and also seems to defend him after their relationship has dissolved. Dorian changed the way he thinks of art and thus he is committed to him and loyal to him and on many occasions, his genuine love is shown as he is concerned for Dorian’s soul’s safety. He also begs Dorian to repent for his sins and actions but Dorian stabs him to death. The other character is Lord Henry is the most negative character of this story as he is poisonous and wrong. He seduces Dorian completely and influences him to get into a life of evil and corruption. He stays constant throughout the novel and is unshakable. He influences Dorian towards the immoral practices and also gives him a book that sinks Dorian deeper into the life of sin. However, he doesn’t believe that the book is immoral as he says “[t]he books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” (Wilde 126).
The painting of Dorian Gray influences his life as it shows him the inner picture of his sins and evil. It is a mirror that reflects the burden of his sins and age as it moves forward. The painting shows him the ugliness of his sins and influences him as it gives him the knowledge of his sins. The book says “The portrait was to bear the burden of his shame: that was all” (Wilde 105). At the end of the story, Dorian kills himself as an old wrinkly man to end his conscience and his servants find his painting turned into the original beautiful one that it was meant to be. Lastly, Dorian Gray influences himself as he gets deeper into the life of evil and is easily seduced by Henry. He has a lack of conscience as he is influenced by Henry easily but he frequently has emotions of guilt and fear. However, the biggest factor that influenced Dorian is Lord Henry as he leads him to his own demise. He is strong and straight forward, believing in evil principles and has a seductive way of influencing Dorian until the end. Lord Henry also misguides Dorian to not listen to himself and it eventually leads to his demise and suicide.
Dorian murders Basil because Basil tries to beg him and convince him to repent. Dorian had a bad reputation and rumors crossed about him because of which Basil comes to him and confronts him. They both argue as Basil is horrified from the painting which has turned ugly. He begs Dorian to repent but Dorian kills him in rage (Wilde 132). Once he kills Basil, he takes the body to Alan, a chemist, and his one-time friend. Dorian blackmails him using a letter which he promises to send away. The book never explained what exactly Dorian said to Alan. The overall book is a roller-coaster ride with many themes and emotions flowing around. The book overall has a great influence as all the characters are very strong and there is a strong usage of symbolism.
Thus, the novel is the journey of Dorian which is influenced by the ideas and opinions of many people around him. It shows how an innocent young man can eventually lead to being immoral and evil. He ruins his life under the influence of the people around him and fails to even correct himself. He is so deep into the life of corruption and evil that he tells Basil before killing him that it is too late to repent. He kills him out of the rage that he begged him to repent.
Wilde Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. UK: Urban Romantics, 2011