The Picture of Dorian Gray short summary & analysis

The Picture of Dorian Gray


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The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde


The Picture of Dorian Gray Analysis

One of the most important authors of English Literature Oscar Wilde, has only one book that can be categorized as a novel which is The Picture of Dorian Gray. There were informations about the three characters in the preface. Wilde says that he sees himself as Basil Hallward; and the people see him as Lord Henry.

The Picture of Dorian Gray Short Summary

Here is the summary of the Picture of Dorian Gray, which was one of the classics for an era;

Basil Hallward and Lord Henry are two best friends. Basil is a painter. Henry comes from a noble family. These two are different from each other and thus their opinions are quite opposite. Henry cares for beauty and defends that everybody should do what they want to do. Though Basil is introvert and cares for inside beauty rather than outside. One day, Basil meet a young man named Dorian Gray. This young man was quite handsome. He had a character that is significant and can influence anyone with ease. Basil was impressed just as he see him. He even looked at him adoringly. He then decided to paint him. So, Dorian was going to Basil’s house everyday to pose. In one of the meeting, Henry was there too. He was too impressed by Dorian and he was enjoy talking to him. Then the great friendship between Henry and Dorian had started.

Lord Henry was giving advice to Dorian. He was saying to Dorian that he has a beautiful face but once he starts getting old, it would disappear and he will be an insignificant person. Conversations like this, would make Dorian think deeply. When Basil Hallward finished the picture of him, everyone was surprised. Dorian had a different magic. His face was very young and beautiful. Dorian got the picture and hung it in the best place of his house. Also, he started reading the book that Henry gave him. This book contained thoughts like, the sins committed by man will make them free, and if we don't behave as we would like to do, life would be meaningless. Dorian was a different person after reading these. Being aware of how pretty he is, he became selfish. But, he kept in mind what Henry said about him, which was; “Dorian in this picture will always look like this. Even when your face becomes wrinkly, he will always stay young.” Dorian started praying then and there. His only wish was that only his picture gets old and not himself. His prayer unfortunately came true.

Dorian met a woman named Sibly Vane. They fell in love and even decided to get married. The night of their engagement, Dorian went to her play. But the woman acted like a talentless actor. Dorian started to get cold feet. They talked about this after the play and Dorian left the woman. However, the woman could not handle the pain and committed suicide. Leaving James Vane to avenge her. After the woman’s death Dorian started to care for different things. Sometimes he would collect antics, sometimes he cared for fashion, collected first edition books, and was interested in profession of odor. He was influencing people, his clothes would become fashionable. Though Dorian got bored of it. In time, picture of Dorian would get old but the real Dorian would stay the same. Whole Britain started to dislike him.

After a few years, Basil came to Dorian’s house. He told Dorian about the bad rumors and other things. Dorian wanted to show the painter, the picture. Basil could not believe what he was seeing but Dorian acted first and killed the painter. To destroy the evidence, he made his friend Alan, to get rid of the body. In order to stay away from the incident, he moved to a small village. He met someone, he never wanted to see. This person was James Vane, who was looking everywhere to find him. Older brother of late Sibly Vane, and he was blaming Dorian about his sisters death. The moment he saw him, the chase began but Sibly died, with a bullet from a hunting rifle, unfortunately. This situation was a sign for Dorian to change.

Dorian dedicated himself to goodness, towards the end of his life. To escape all the malice and death, he went to the room where his picture was. He stabbed the picture first then his own heart. When the servants came in, they saw the young and beautiful picture of Dorian in the wall, and then an ugly faced, wrinkly old Dorian on the floor.