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Book Review

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde- Book Review

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is one of the epic novel by Oscar Wilde published in July 1890. The novel received much criticism because they thought that it was against moral ethics and aesthetics.

Dorian Gray is the protagonist of the play who was so beautiful that his beauty attracted the attention of painter Basil Hallward. He was so delighted by his beauty that he decided to draw his portrait. Dorian met Lord Henry who was obsessed with taste of art. To Henry, one must worship art more than anything else.

After Basil finishes the painting Lord Henry gave a remark that one day the youth and beauty of Dorian will fade. Upset Dorian in a fit of passion sells his soul to the painting so that the painting could bear the burden of his age and infamy allowing him to stay forever young.

Time passes by and Lord Henry’s influence on Dorian grows stronger. Soon Dorian also started worshipping Art. One day Dorian met Sibyl Vane an actress of theatre of London Slums. Basil did not like this idea of love. Three of them Dorian, Basil and Lord Henry went to a theatre to see Sibyl’s performance but that day Sibyl performed extremely badly. Dorian asked her what is the reason and Sibyl said that after meeting Dorian she doesn’t like the theatre. Upset Dorian replied that it was all for her acting that he liked her but as she now doesn’t like theatre he can’t love her back. As a result Sibyl committed suicide. And that was the first day that Dorian noticed a change in the portrait.

Lord Henry asked Dorian to consider Sibyl’s death as a piece of art. Soon Dorian forgets everything and he started enjoying life. Days passed by and he remained young and beautiful but the portrait started changing. He became so cruel and selfish that one day ultimately he murdered Basil Hallward. Many committed suicide because of him. He became a criminal.

He got so frustrated that he wanted to destroy the guilt in him. He thought destroying the portrait will end his guilt. He picked a knife with which he killed Basil and stabbed the painting. There is a crash and servants enters and finds a portrait with a beautiful young man and a old horrible man lying dead on the floor with a knife plunged into his heart.

Famous quotes-

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” 

“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”

The novel criticizes various aspects of Victorian society. There is a difference between what Dorian showed himself to the world and what was he originally. His portrait was his real identity which started to ruin after Dorian got engaged in crimes and the ultimate picture was totally horrifying.  It was because of Lord Henry that Dorian chose the wrong path. What he cannot do in his life he wanted to fulfill it with the help of Dorian.

The novel is like a fairy tale depicts a thing which is not possible in real life. But who don’t likes fairy-tale? The story is so interesting that one reads it breathlessly towards the end. One will even enjoy the film based on the novel available on YouTube. So to get an extra ordinary feeling do watch the movie or read the novel and share your feedback.

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Alolika Sengupta

An artist by profession and a lover of English Literature. When everything's around is dull my books give me a new hope.

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