The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only novel by British writer Oscar Wilde, who is one of the decadence artists of the later 19th century. The plot is set upon Wilde?s contemporaneousness and his true life is projected through it. The author can be characterized as pleasure-seeking and free-living and so can be the main character of the novel, Dorian Gray. However, Dorian seems to expand these qualities to much higher level. His idealism, ambitions and dreamful life eventually transform him into a bad, selfish person and get him killed.
Dorian Gray, being yet a boy with bright future expectancy, appears in London, not knowing how much will the presence of one man change his life forever. Initially he travels to meet a painter, Basil, who is enchanted by Dorian and is painting his portrait. At the same time though, Dorian is introduced to Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil?s, who is known for his bad morale, contemptuousness and hatred towards society and bourgeois. He admires Dorian?s beauty and purity and imparts a dangerous thought to Dorian, that it is indeed a great pity the picture will stay forever young and beautiful, whereas Dorian himself will grow old and ugly. In this very moment, Dorian?s exaggerated greed for self-perfection triggers the tragic consequences. He wishes to stay young and the picture to grow old instead.
It really happens as Dorian wishes and he looks the same all the following year, despite people around him notably changes. However, sins and crimes he commits, like murder of Basil, drugs, alcohol and guilt for his wife?s death catch up to him and it starts to reflect in the picture. Under Henry?s influence, Dorian becomes a cruel and reckless man, whose moral principles and behavior oppose