TOPIC: Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a novel written by Oscar Wilde in 1890. The story follows the life of a young, wealthy man named Dorian Gray, who is given a portrait of himself that has been painted by an artist named Basil Hallward. Dorian becomes obsessed with the portrait, as it represents his idealized self, and begins to lead a life of hedonism and excess. As he indulges in his vices, the portrait begins to change, reflecting the moral decay that is taking place within him.
One of the central themes of the novel is the idea of the duality of human nature. Dorian is presented as a character who is both beautiful and evil, and the portrait serves as a visual representation of this duality. It is a reminder of the true nature of Dorian’s soul, which is hidden beneath his handsome exterior.
Another theme that is present in the novel is the idea of the corrupting influence of beauty and youth. Dorian is initially innocent and pure, but as he becomes more and more obsessed with his own beauty and youth, he begins to lose touch with his morality. He becomes increasingly cruel and selfish, and ultimately destroys the lives of those around him.
The novel also explores the idea of the artist as a creator and the subject as the creation. Basil Hallward is the artist who creates the portrait of Dorian, but it is Dorian himself who is the true work of art. The novel suggests that the artist is not truly in control of the final product, and that the subject of the artwork has a significant impact on its final form.
Oscar Wilde uses the novel as a way to comment on the societal values of the time, particularly the emphasis on beauty and youth. He critiques the idea that these things are the most important aspects of a person, and suggests that inner beauty and moral character are far more important.
The novel is also notable for its use of symbolism. The portrait, for example, is used as a symbol of Dorian’s true self, and the changes that take place in it reflect the changes that are taking place within Dorian. The yellow book, which Dorian reads early in the novel, is also symbolic, representing the idea of the seductive power of art and the dangers of indulging in one’s desires.
“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a thought-provoking novel that explores themes of duality, corruption, and the true nature of beauty. Oscar Wilde’s writing is both elegant and biting, and the novel remains a classic of literature to this day.
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