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Introduction & Overview of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
This section contains 230 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Picture of Dorian Gray Study Guide

The Picture of Dorian Gray Summary & Study Guide Description

The Picture of Dorian Gray Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Introduction

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray was published simultaneously in Philadelphia's Lippincott's Monthly Magazine and by Ward, Lock and Company in England, in July, 1890. In England, the novella was condemned by many reviewers as shocking and immoral. Wilde tried to address some of these criticisms as he worked on an expanded version of the story, which was published as a full-length novel in 1891, along with a preface in which Wilde stated his artistic credo.

The novel centers on Dorian Gray, a young man of great beauty. When he meets Lord Henry Wotton, Lord Henry inspires him with a vision of life in which the pursuit of beauty through sensual pleasure is valued above ethical or moral concerns. Another friend of Dorian, the artist Basil Hallward, awakens Dorian's vanity. After admiring a portrait of himself painted by Basil, Dorian declares that he would give his own soul if he could remain eternally young while the portrait grows old. He gets his wish, and the picture shows the gradual disfigurement of his soul as he sinks into a life of degradation and crime.

As a variation on the Faust legend, with echoes of the fall of man and the Adonis myth, and as an examination of the relationship between art and life, The Picture of Dorian Gray fascinated readers into the early 2000s and gave rise to many different interpretations.

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This section contains 230 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Picture of Dorian Gray Study Guide
Copyrights
The Picture of Dorian Gray from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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