2021 Book Review Book Reviews Fiction

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Horror hides behind an attractive face in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s tale of a notorious Victorian libertine and his life of evil excesses. Though Dorian’s hedonistic indulgences leave no blemish on his ageless features, the painted portrait imbued with his soul proves a living catalogue of corruption, revealing in its every new line and lesion the manifold sins he has committed. Desperate to hide the physical evidence of his unregenerate spirit, Dorian will stop at nothing—not even murder—to keep his picture’s existence a secret.
A scandalous story when it was first published in 1890, The Picture of Dorian Gray is acknowledged as a landmark of literature today and a tale emblematic of its time.

First Impressions, Thoughts, & Experience:

Wow. How can I even put my experience into words. This book was thought provoking, mysterious, and very atmospheric. I can see how this book was considered scandalous during the time period it was published in. This really put a spotlight on human sin, desire, and obsessions with youth and beauty.

The connection between Dorian Gray’s soul and his portrait was well portrayed and the way Oscar Wilde showed Dorian’s changes in heart and character was amazing. This causes us to look at life if none of our actions had any consequences. Any time you would look back at a the time you wished you could get away with something unscathed will look like a totally different story. You see that if you could commit any foul act with no true taint in your heart and conscience you would become an entirely different person, and not for the better. Every time we felt guilty was not a bad thing. It shows that you still have humanity and a soul to experience life with. Having a conscience is not an anchor chaining you down and this book really shows that through Dorian Gray’s story. To say the only way to truly experience life is through acts of immorality is like saying the only way you can open a door is by cutting through it with an axe.


Henry Wotton has a really twisted view on life. He really got on my nerves and was one of the major reasons why Dorian became corrupted. He always had a distorted way to explain his beliefs and always stated an opinion, whether rude or not. I really did not like him and his beliefs just made his character worse for me. On the other hand, I felt really bad for Basil Hallward. He gained an attachment to Dorian Gray that eventually led to the end of him. He always seemed to have pure intentions at heart but would often get brushed off by both Henry Wotton and Dorian Gray. As for Dorian Gray, I already talked about him a lot. One thing that ruined my views on him even more was the way he treated Sybil Vane. Sybil was an actress that he fell in love with but eventually completely dropped his attachment to her because of a bad acting night. Dorian Gray really lost all of his boyish youth, innocence, and happiness to the worldly obsession of lifelong youth and beauty.


Overall, this book was great. This unique way to teach an important lifelong lesson really struck home. Oscar Wilde truly created a novel that would impact people forever, no matter what time period. I enjoyed every aspect of this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a gothic twist on story telling.

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One reply on “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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