Skin (Roald Dahl) Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 18 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Skin.
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Skin (Roald Dahl) Summary & Study Guide Description

Skin (Roald Dahl) 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 Quotes and a Free Quiz on Skin (Roald Dahl) by Roald Dahl.

The following version of this story was used to create this study guide: Dahl, Roald. “Skin.” The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl. Penguin Books, 1992, p. 517 – 531.

Drioli, a retired tattoo artist, was walking through the streets of Paris when he stumbled upon a painting by Chaïm Soutine. This reminded him that he spent some time with Soutine when they were younger. Drioli had had a successful day tattooing soldiers, so he returned home to celebrate with Soutine and Josie, Drioli’s wife.

Drioli returned home after buying some wine. When he arrived, they all began to drink and celebrate while Soutine painted Josie. As they drank more, Drioli decided that he wanted Soutine to tattoo an image of Josie on Drioli’s back. At first, Soutine was hesitant, but after some more drinking, Soutine agreed. Drioli taught Soutine his techniques, Josie modeled, and Soutine began his work. After many hours, Soutine’s work was finished, and Josie and Drioli marveled at the tattoo.

Drioli then reminisced about the rest of his life until present day, recalling that Soutine had left one day, and his wife had died shortly afterwards. In present day, Drioli entered the gallery. However, Drioli had resorted to begging after he lost business, so the gallery owner told him to leave. Drioli became furious, ran further into the gallery, and took off his shirt, revealing the tattoo by Soutine.

Everybody in the gallery was stunned. The gallery owner and another wealthy art collector tried to persuade Drioli to let them buy the tattoo. The gallery owner wanted to surgically remove the skin, and the collector wanted Drioli to live in one of his hotels for the rest of his life. Eventually, Drioli decided to accept the collector’s offer. However, the reader learns that the collector never owned a hotel.

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