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The Picture of Dorian Gray
I. Introduction
        Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
        Author: Oscar Wilde
        Publisher: Lippincott's Monthly Magazine
        Year: 1890
        Type of book: Tragedy
II. Summary of the Plot
        A. Lord Henry Wotton and Basil Halward become good friends with
Dorian Gray, the young model that Basil uses for his paintings. They grow greatly
fascinated by the boy and take a great liking in him. Basil is finishing a picture of
Adonis using Dorian as the model. Upon completion, Dorian is fascinated by it, for
it is a strikingly real representation of himself. He sadly laments that the picture will
always show a young, beautiful face while he will grow old and wrinkled. He says
that he would give anything in the world if it could be the picture that grows older
and he remain young. He says that he would give his soul for such an
arrangement. Little does he know that he has sold his soul to the devil.
III. Section of Central Focus
        The Picture of Dorian Gray is set in late Victorian England. The
characters are mostly of the upper classes, and can be compared with the more
wealthy characters in the novels of Charles Dickens. They are very arrogant and
have many unkind things to say about those "below" them. This was also a time
when other cultures were not accepted into that of Victorian England. The book
describes the theatre-owner as an "abominable Jew." The rich "epicures" of the
time were truly idle, often showing lavish displays of wealth, such as expensive
products imported from afar.
        The Picture of Dorian Gray resembles a play set in London during the
1800s. Although this was Wilde's only novel, many of his plays had a similar
setting and general atmosphere.
IV. Evaluation
        I enjoyed this book because it was a rather dark and cautionary tale about
"making horrible wishes that one just might get." I would recommend this to those
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