The Picture of Dorian Gray is a familiar story of greed, sin, and arrogance. A young man, infatuated with his own handsomeness and youth as depicted in a perfect portrait, makes a bargain he will come to regret. No one can save him from his appetite for pleasure and his awful fate--not the man who idolizes him, not the woman who loves him, and not even himself!
Published in 1890, The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde’s only novel. At first the subject of intense controversy, it has endured as a classic for years. This Canterbury Classics edition includes the beloved story as well as a special heat-burnished cover, foil stamping, and designed endpapers in an easy-to-carry package.
A cautionary tale of innocence sacrificed for the sake of vice, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a classic whose lessons are still relevant today.
Lexile score: 880L
About the Word Cloud Classics series:
Classic works of literature with a clean, modern aesthetic! Perfect for both old and new literature fans, the Word Cloud Classics series from Canterbury Classics provides a chic and inexpensive introduction to timeless tales. With a higher production value, including heat burnished covers and foil stamping, these eye-catching, easy-to-hold editions
A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."
As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."