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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture


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“The Picture of Dorian Gray”

is a novel by Irish writer Oscar Wilde, first published in 1890. The novel tells the story of a young man named Dorian Gray, who is blessed with both beauty and charm, and whose portrait captures the very essence of his youthful vitality. As Dorian’s hedonistic lifestyle takes a darker turn, his portrait begins to reflect his inner corruption and moral decay.

The novel begins with Dorian Gray meeting the artist Basil Hallward, who is immediately captivated by his beauty and decides to paint his portrait. While posing for the painting, Dorian meets Basil’s friend, Lord Henry Wotton, who introduces him to a hedonistic worldview and encourages him to live life to the fullest.

As Dorian becomes more and more obsessed with beauty and pleasure, he wishes that his portrait would age instead of him. His wish is granted, and Dorian’s physical appearance remains unchanged while his portrait begins to show the signs of his moral decay. Dorian continues to indulge in every temptation, leading him down a path of depravity and destruction, while the portrait becomes a visual representation of his inner turmoil.

One of the central themes of the novel is the corrupting influence of beauty and pleasure. Dorian is initially depicted as a young man full of innocence and vitality, but as he becomes more and more fixated on his own beauty and youth, he becomes increasingly selfish and cruel. The portrait serves as a metaphor for the way that Dorian’s actions are slowly destroying his soul, even as his outward appearance remains unchanged.

Another important theme in the novel is the nature of art and its relationship to life. Basil’s portrait of Dorian is depicted as a work of art that captures the very essence of his youth and beauty. As Dorian’s life becomes more and more debauched, the portrait becomes more and more grotesque, reflecting the ugliness of his soul. Through the character of Basil, Wilde explores the idea that art can reveal truths about human nature that are hidden from everyday observation.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” caused a scandal when it was first published, due to its portrayal of homosexuality and its frank depiction of the decadent lifestyle of the upper classes. However, the novel is now widely regarded as a masterpiece of Gothic fiction and a classic of English literature. Through its exploration of the corrupting influence of beauty and pleasure, the novel offers a powerful and timeless message about the importance of moral responsibility and the dangers of unchecked desire.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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