The Picture of Dorian Gray - Analysis

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The picture of Dorian Gray

This famous portrait is the only novel written by the author Oscar Wilde, who otherwise wrote poetry, plays and short stories. It first published in 1890, but since Wilde’s work became much criticized for its homoerotic parts and its lack of moral message, he had to moderate the language of several passes before publishing a new version the following year. This revised publication is considered as the authoritative edition. The setting and the plot

The picture of Dorian Gray takes place in the late 19th century England. Dorian Gray is a young aesthete living in London. The painter Basil is working with finishing his portrait of Dorian. When Dorian sees the portrait, the fact that he isn’t going to remain young forever uppenbarar sig for him. He gets oförståeligt upprörd and wishes intensely that the painting would age instead of him. What he does not know by then is that his wish will come true. The mood

In the first part of the book the mood is quite realistic and romantic. Dorian, the main character, is young, inexperienced and when he falls in love the whole atmosphere of the book gets affected of it. The language in those parts is rather poetic, but also correct and realistic. Later on, the story develops to become more mysterious. Supernatural things start to happen, and the book suddenly resembles more a gothic horror novel than a decadent French fiction. Point of view

The story is told form a third-person point of view. Since much of the plot is told by the words of the characters, dialogue is a central part of the story-telling in the book. The plot unfolds chronologically. Language and symbols

The theme and its context

The characters
The main character, Dorian Gray, is described as astonishingly beautiful. You get the impression of him as selfish and ytlig, but even though he seem to be loved by everybody he meets. In the beginning of the book he is young, curious and a bit naïve. In the moment Dorian sees...
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