The Picture of Dorian Gray

I have chosen “The Picture of Dorian Gray” written by Oscar Wilde. I read this book a long time ago in Spanish and I have wanted to read it again because it presents an important matter: the importance of image and of beauty in our lives.

Basil is a London painter obsessed with his last work: a picture of a young beautiful man called Dorian Gray. To Basil, this boy is everything in his life.

Dorian Gray seems a charming, honest man, but when he meets Lord Henry, Basil’s friend, his life changes completely.

Basil warns Dorian about his friend Lord Henry. He is a very bad influence but Dorian is interested in his ideas about life.

To Lord Henry, “to be young is the best thing in the world” and he says Dorian: “live your life now while you are still young”.

When Basil finishes his picture, Dorian realizes his own beauty for the first time and he begins to understand Lord Henry’s ideas. At the moment, Dorian wishes his portrait to grow old in his place.

Now, Dorian Gray is a different person. Dorian begins to explore his senses and to look for beauty and pleasure every day.

But a month later, Dorian falls in love with an actress called Sibyl Vane and Dorian proposes marriage quickly.

One night, after her play, Dorian argues with her and rejects Sibyl. When he returns home he notices his portrait has changed. It’s very strange and he remembers his desire. The next day, he decides to reconcile with Sibyl but Lord Henry arrives to say Sibyl has killed herself.

After that, Dorian experiences all the pleasures of life and the picture reminds him the effect of the bad things on his soul.

One night, Basil visits Dorian to ask about his lifestyle. Basil is worried about Dorian. Then, Dorian shows him the portrait and Basil discovers a horrible image. That is Dorian’s soul. Angry, Dorian blames the painter for everything and kills him.

After that, Dorian realizes he has become a monster. So, tired of devoting his life to pleasure and beauty, he regrets everything and he decides to destroy his portrait.

A cry is heard and the servants arrive where the picture is. They find an old man dead on the floor and the portrait with a handsome young Dorian.

In my opinion, this history teaches us that the most important thing in our lives is our soul, and not our appearance. Our image can change a lot of times but our soul and our moral will be the same always.