AP English IV
Title of Work: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
Date of Publication: 1890
Oscar Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 to
Sir William Wilde and Jane Wilde, the second of three children. Wilde studied at Oxford, and joined the Freemasons in 1878 after failing to join the
Oxford Union. After graduation, he went home to
Dublin and began writing poems. The Picture of
Dorian Gray was his first and only novel. Wilde married Constance Lloyd in 1884 and perished on
November 30, 1900 to cerebral meningitis.
As the second industrial revolution went on, steel, railroads, and electricity allowed for the economic growth of the United States and Western Europe. The standard of living rose dramatically, and health concern and sanitation caused infection and death rates to drop greatly. During the decade, gothic novels, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis
Stevenson, were published.
Characteristics of the Genre
The setting, atmosphere, and emotions are dramatic and gloomy. Dark suspense and mystery are strongly tied to gothic novels, along with the supernatural. Plot Summary
The Picture of Dorian Gray is an American novel centered on Dorian Gray, a handsome wealthy young man living in the nineteenth century in London. Even though Dorian is a very intelligent person, he often finds himself easily manipulated and this fault will ultimately lead him to failure. Dorian has his picture painted by a friend named Basil, and when Dorian meets his friend Lord Henry Wotton, his life will soon collapse. Dorian begins to believe that youth and beauty will bring him everything he desires, so he makes a wish that the portrait will age, and he will stay forever young and handsome. The picture begins to show
Dorian’s truths portraying him as a demon-like creature, and eventually he will come to realize all the terrible sins he created over fourteen