The Picture of Dorian Gray Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Picture of Dorian Gray

Artist Basil Hallward has painted a picture
he considers his masterpiece, and much too
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good for the likes of the traditional Salon
in Paris. No, he tells Lord Henry,
this one he's keeping for himself, or possibly
make a present of it to the blond young man
who sat for the picture. The man portrayed is
an orphaned society child named Dorian Gray.
Later, when Dorian finishes sitting for
the portrait, he makes a wish that he would
stay perfect and beautiful and youthful just
like his picture at 22. Basis makes the portrait
a present to Dorian. Dorian then becomes apprenticed
to Lord Henry in the ways of the world, (which
includes both boys and girls). This is what
Basil Hallward feared the most: his beautiful
blond boy becoming decadent like Lord Henry.
When an actress named Sybil Vane commits suicide
over a broken engagement to Dorian, the picture
takes on the slight look of cruelty around the
mouth. Dorian indulges himself in his money and
social fame, and his face remains unchanged.
The review of this Book prepared by Joan Clare

An artist, besotted with the beauty of the young man Dorian Gray, paints his finest work, a portrait of breathtaking power and youthful splendour. Dorian, having been rocked by the thought that he too will grow old and unlovely one day, impetuously wishes that he could ever and forever look as the proud beauty in the picture does. The moment is bewitched, and his wish is granted. He proceeds to live life to the full, he takes what pleasure he wishes, to the degree he wishes, whenever he wishes, without regard for consequence to himself or others. He remains a pristine god-like wonder to behold. But the picture tells his tale in the changing portrait, which he must hide in the dust of the attic. Every debauch, every cruel and unheeding act, every draining of life's dregs is reflected in the horror that the portrait becomes. One day it must all be paid for and come to an end. And too late he realises that he has been paying for all that he has done as he went along, despite appearences - paying with his soul and his humanity.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose

Young and beautiful Dorian Gray's wish comes true. A portrait of him ages while he does not. Caught up in the pleasure of evils, he loses sight of everything valuable to him and becomes his own worst enemy.
The review of this Book prepared by Wendy Edwards

Chapter Analysis of The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Life of a profession:    -   artist Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   vague finding self/purpose in life (i.e. no plot to book) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Love problems?    -   gay guy urges

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   20's-30's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   London Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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