The novel begins in Basil Hallward's studio on a sunny summer’s day. Basil is with Henry who later meets Dorian and entrances him with his words, causing Dorian to become vain after he sees his portrait and how beautiful he is. After viewing his picture he becomes overwhelmed with grief because the portrait will always be younger than he is and hastily trades his soul to “be always young” (pg. 27). Not soon after Dorian finds himself engaged to Sibyl, a beautiful actress, only to scorn her and call it off after her dreadful performance. She commits suicide and Henry gives Dorian a book that influences him in such a way as to try and commit any sin imaginable. One night in a rage he murders Basil, but gets an old friend to clean it up. Later in the novel James Vane, Sibyls brother, almost kills Dorian in revenge but stops because he looks too young, only to be told by a prostitute that it really was him. James Vane dies while stalking Dorian and Dorian decides to start leading a life free of sin, so he stabs the painting to destroy it in order to feel free of his past life of sin. He is found the next day unrecognizable and old with a knife in his heart.
Oscar Wilde writes a complex story in a culmination of events in chronological order, though depending on which character the novel is following at the time, events may not unravel themselves as they happen. The Picture of Dorian Gray is written as a whole novel; no parts. The novel begins with a preface which gives insight into the book, and much opinion about art. With all of the death, the gruesomeness of the picture and the rotten opium hangout, the novel is given the form of a horror suspense story.
Point of view/ Perspective:
... middle of paper ...
... of art. The novel begins when the picture is created and ends when Dorian attempts to destroy it.
Wilde writes with such eloquence and purpose that you can easily miss all that his novel holds. All of his main characters speak with witting intent and with a gentleman's education. Wilde is quite fond of themes, symbolism, and has a silent touch for foreshadowing. In the beginning of the book Basil decides to rip the painting to pieces with a knife because Dorian is being so melodramatic but Dorian stops Basil before he can saying, “ Don't, Basil, don't! It would be murder!” In the end of the book Dorian takes a knife to the portrait intending to murder his sin, and ends up with a knife in his own heart. Overall Wilde created a perfect novel for the engaged reader.
Oscar Wilde. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 2001.