The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by Irish writer Oscar Wilde. A shorter novella-length version was published in the July 1890 American periodical Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine issue. The novel-length version was published in April 1891.
The story revolves around a portrait of Dorian Gray painted by Basil Hallward, a friend of Dorian’s and an artist infatuated with Dorian’s beauty. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton and is soon enthralled by the aristocrat’s hedonistic worldview: beauty and sensual fulfillment are the only things worth pursuing. Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian desires to sell his soul to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade.
The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful; all the while, his portrait ages and visually records every one of Dorian’s sins.