Themes of The Picture of Dorian Gray

Themes of The Picture of Dorian Gray

An unique The Image of Dorian Gray belongs to World Literature Classics and is commonly understood by every college student. A story focuses on a good-looking guy, who never ever grows old, however whose soul turns to be as filthy as a hog. The novel covers some important and everlasting themes and exposes everlasting values of all times.

Excellent against Evil

The excellent and the wicked opposition theme appears practically in every classical sample of literature. And that is not a surprise, obviously, as it is one the everlasting concerns being talked about during centuries. The Picture of Dorian Gray is basically all about the great and evil. Before conference with Henry Dorian’s soul has been pure and innocent. Every brushstroke put by Henry in the canvas appears to have a specific significance for Dorian. Basil is the only person who knows about outcomes of meeting Dorian with Lord Henry. From the very start, when Dorian enters a home, Basil understands Lord Henry’s abilities. He realizes from the very starting the possibility of turning Dorian from good to evil. Even from the Chapter 1 estimates, it becomes rather obvious that the fight between great and evil will live during the entire book. There are a couple of moments when Dorian needs to pick between 2 options: between Sybil, who symbolizes excellent, and Henry, who seems to be the epitome of evil. The love for 2 of them tears him apart, however, in the end, he makes his choice.


The concept of youth and charm is explained here to the maximum degree. That is among the primary subjects of the book. It goes without stating that everybody wishes to achieve everlasting beauty and youth. Nobody can make it take place, however Dorian Gray. While imagining him, Lord Henry can not help appreciating a handsome man. Dorian becomes an idol for Henry, who worships him over all things worldwide. According to quotes from the Chapter 2, individuals are foolish if they do not judge by looks. The happiest are those who obtain beauty and look for methods to make it last longer. As long as Dorian still obtain his beauty and youth, whatever drops at his feet. Eternal youth makes any female fall for Dorian. While appreciating himself as a man of amazing charm, the primary character forgets his soul. His actions and bad treatment of other corrupt his soul and turn him into the cruelest and ugliest guy. In the end, as he takes a look at his past, he can not stand the sensation of disgust to himself and decides to get it over with, at last.


Another thing, probably, wanted as much as a fountain of youth is never ever getting old and live permanently. The primary fear of Dorian was aging. He sells his soul to the devil and gets long lasting appeal. That is an impact of Lord Henry, who changes Dorian’s opinion worrying his life and provides him a new understanding of charm and youth. Now, that he comprehends how good-looking he is, he hesitates of losing that all. The stress over what will occur if his cards are cleaned away by age leave heads spinning and make go insane. It is Lord Henry, who treats death and life of other individuals as if it is absolutely nothing. Amongst photos of dorian gray quotes, there is one worth the reader’s attention. It says that Dorian notifications strange things occurring to portrait. It is changing as if living its own life. At that time he begins thinking that it advises him of the possibility to pass away and age. It assures him a death instead of fountain of youth and life. That fact starts to disrupt him in increasing frequency.


As it has actually been already discussed, the book has a couple of problems to dwell upon. The problem of innocence is amongst them. It becomes rather difficult for a reader to comprehend the theme of innocence in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Initially, it is considered to be one of the most precious functions of characters, as it makes them more appealing and stimulates the sensation of loyalty. Later on, the innocence appears in the context as if it is something that never exists. Dorian Gray is an ideal example. He goes into the scene as an innocent, good-looking aristocrat of pure nature, who appears to be without a bad bone in his entire body. Nevertheless, with a course of events, whatever modifications. Dorian meets people who influence and alter his attitude towards a lot of things. Now, he is prepared to check out other sides of his character, where innocence disappears into thin air. Most likely, that is a time, when the evil begins to creep over. If you carefully checked out the text, you will notice numerous quotes where the change of Dorian soul takes place. The sense of innocence is rather an intriguing style for a reader to think about.

Morality and Principles

From the very start, in the book, there take place numerous quotes about the morality of the characters. No one could deny the truth that everyone has their morality and understanding of ethics. It is quite fascinating to follow the concept of the morality of Lord Henry, Basil, and Dorian Gray. Henry, for example, is sure in a distinction of individuals that come from different social classes. The philosophy of Lord Henry and his view of life brings in Dorian. His concept of morality depends on following desires and advises without any constraints. There is no feelings or love, or kindness, or humanity in his life. Everything is viewed from the side of science and with a minimum of emotions. However, the author clearly shows what is wrong: the murder of the very best good friend, and then the damage of his body and the killing of the loved one. All characters appear to have that characteristic fundamental for chameleons. They change their moral principles and ethics according to their actions and expressions, in order to fulfill their requirements.


The theme of appearance is really closely gotten in touch with that a person about youth. Lord Henry’s quotes on the topic of look suggest, that only those things matter that expresses themselves through their look, in other words, the ideas, actions, and character functions may influence a person’s look. Appearance plays an essential role in the life of Sybil. As far as she is a starlet, she sees her life from the perspective of theatre. She tries to render a theatrical life into real life, with all acts and appearances. Not a surprise, everybody has heard the stating not to judge the book by its cover. That is a real example of how look can be deceptive. Dorian Gray is of alien beauty, no rejects. His coverage looks exceptionally enticing, however what about his soul? With age, it is getting more revolting, and poisonous and grosser. Nobody can reveal his secret of magnificent beauty and everlasting youth. Furthermore, he makes dreadful things that nobody would have ever thought he can. In the eyes of others, Dorian remains the same pure creature with a kind heart during years.

H2: Transformation

One of the major problems is a change. Often change has favorable results (keep in mind butterflies), on the other hand, it can become a critical moment of your life. The transformation of Dorian Gray turns out to be an awful one. The metaphor of a butterfly might be used here. In the start, Dorian is a thoughtful, good-looking, elegant and pure creature. But during the story he goes through changes and transformation, losing all that innocence that has actually remained in him. Not the external, however the inner beauty leaves him. As far as Dorian is an idol for Basil, he is the first individual, who recognizes modifications and change of him at the very beginning (see in quotes). The improvement of his soul and morality is a pure similarity to his portrait now. That is a great concern for a reader to believe if it was possible for Dorian to change the circumstance and make a difference as quickly as he found the secret?


The meaning of friendship in Oscar Wilde’s The Image of Dorian Gray is quite different from a contemporary one. None of the relationships seems to be real and genuine in the book. For a reader, it is tough to understand how such a creative, sincere and full of the human individual as Basil can become good friends with someone like Lord Henry, obsessed with science, emotionless and with no compassion. Most likely, the story would have another plot and ending if Basil had actually not presented Dorian Gray to Lord Henry. From the really first moment, there is a connection felt in between Henry and Dorian. Nevertheless, it will permanently remain a secret what the idea of relationship for each of them is. Some treat it as a devotion, interest, trust or support. As Lord Henry’s quotes state, he picks good friends for their appearance and outlooks, his fellows for good character and enemies for their intelligence. He is interested not in people, but in things they give to him and whether their contribution is useful in his life. So, as you might see most likely such conceptions of relationship were popular at that time.

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