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The Picture of Dorian Gray Summary: A Synopsis

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This is a story by Oscar Wilde. It was later adapted by Rosita Sokou in 2000 into a movie.

The book begins with the introduction of the characters; a painter named Basil Hallward is in discussion with his friend about a new painting named Dorian Gray. They discuss the perfection of the painting and how Dorian is easily the most beautiful person on earth. A Lord named Henry is curious to meet the boy, but Basil is hesitant as he is afraid of what Lord Henry will do to Dorian.

Lord Henry still gets his demands met, and Dorian arrives. Henry corrupts Dorian’s innocent view of the world to the point where they do not acknowledge good or evil. Basil completes the portrait and gives it to Dorian. Dorian, in turns, takes it home and uses it to admire himself. Dorian grows apart with Basil as Lord Henry becomes a great influence. Dorian becomes interested in Sybil Vane, an actress who was great but poor. Dorian falls for her and she for him.

For some time, all seems well. Sybil becomes obsessed with Dorian to the point that Dorian dumps her and she commits suicide. The portrait changed after he dumped her and looked meaner. Dorian accepts Henry’s view of the world completely and changes as a man. The portrait is the only thing that showed his change for the worse. This is in the form of scars and flaws in the painting representing Dorian’s corruption. The picture turns hideous after some time.

Dorian shows the portrait to Basil, who reveals the truth about his nature. Basil advises Dorian to seek forgiveness, but instead, Dorian kills him and has a friend dispose of the body.

James, Sybils brother returns and becomes an enemy. He also turns up dead, but Dorian is not directly to blame. Dorian is relieved. Soon he starts to doubt his lifestyle and makes some good choices for some time. He questions his past and consults henry. He reveals that he killed Basil, but Henry does not believe Dorian.

Dorian hates his appearance in the picture and finally destroys it with the knife he used on Basil. There are disturbing cries, and when servants go to check on Dorian, the painting is as beautiful as it was before, and a hideous man is dead on the floor; Dorian Gray.

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