The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde
Contributed by Denis Minns
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Oscar Wilde
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About the Title

The Picture of Dorian Gray refers quite straightforwardly to two portraits: First, the very literal picture of Dorian painted by Basil Hallward, and secondly, the literary "picture" Wilde creates in the novel. Both of these works of art show us what the "real" world can’t see, which is the truth of Dorian’s soul. The painting itself is at the center of the whole novel, while Dorian’s physical beauty remains untouched, the Dorian captured in the painting changes horribly to reflect the corruption of his soul. Just as this picture shows viewers the true nature of its subject, so too does Wilde’s novel reveal Dorian’s increasingly evil inner self to the readers.

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