“The Picture of Dorian Gray” Book Report
Oscar Fingal O’Flarentie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. He was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest “celebrities” of his day. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a first and only novel written by Oscar Wilde. It was published in 1891. The book is focusing on the actions of a very egocentrical character who thinks he can do whatever he wants because he is beautiful, Wilde highlights the things that are wrong in our society.
It is a very interesting and instructive story. Dorian Gray, young man whose physical appearance is handsome and innocent. The painter, Basil Hallward, makes a beautiful portrait of Dorian. He feels that it is his best work to date. While, in the Hallward’s studio Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton. Henry “corrupts” Dorian’s innocent and introduces him to a new world of Hedonism. Dorian is eventually influenced by Henry’s way of thinking and becomes obsessed with himself and his image. He wishes that he always look like his youthful appearance in the portrait.
The wish comes true. Dorian remains the same – youthful and charming, but the portrait begins to transform itself into the image of his soul. This wish would become a great regret for Dorian Gray. Later, Dorian meets Sibyl Vane, a very young, and poor actress, who only knows him as ”Prince Charming” She falls in love with Dorian and they plan to run off together. The girl’s mother seems all too happy to see her daughter off to someone above her status, despite not even having met the young man.
Sibyl’s brother however is much more protective, and in a chance meeting threatens Dorian not to hurt his sister, or else he will pay it back to him directly. Unfortunately when Dorian invites his friends Henry and Basil to Sibyl’s performance. They discover that her love with Dorian produces a dismay portray for her play. With his love of beauty, Dorian suddenly becomes disgusted with the girl and her poor performance and breaks her heart backstage that night. When Dorian returned home, he notices a strange expression on his portrait, it’s changed. It was watched him, with its beautiful marred face and its cruel smile” He is horrified that his absurd wish has come true, and hastily has the portrait moved to his room so that no one else can see it. Next morning Dorian awakes with regretting his actions against Sibyl but Lord Wotton informs him that Sibyl found dead by her own hand last night. At first Dorian becomes to blame himself for the girl’s death then Lord Henry convinces him to forget about it. Dorian makes himself believe that he has nothing to do with Sybil’s death, which is entirely untrue.
After that Dorian decides to completely change his mind. He uses his good looks and charm to obtain whatever he desires in life. The guilt and shame of the things that he did doing and the person he is becoming does not stop him because he still strongly believes that his beauty wins over heart as well as soul. One day Basil asks Dorian to exhibit his painting at an art gallery, to which Dorian angrily refuses. Later he goes to stop in quickly at Dorian’s house, and Dorian decides to show the portrait to him.
Dorian led Basil up to his room where the portrait was hung on the wall. Basil couldn’t believe what he had done, and that such things were possible. He sat down at a table and tries to make Dorian repent. A mad craze swept over Dorian. He grabbed a knife and quickly stabbed Basil several times in the neck until he died where he sat. Over a period of twenty years, Dorian becomes a monster on the inside (reflected by the portrait of his soul) even as he remains youthful and innocent on the outside.
The story ends with Dorian choosing to reform, only to find that the damage done to his soul is too great. Before going to bed one night, he stabs the painting and dies. The painting is becomes young again and he has the aged appearance that he should. There is no rip in the painting, but the knife he stabbed it with is in his chest. “It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was. ” This book was extremely impressive. It is also atmospheric and beautifully written. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who didn’t read this book.