Mrs. Timm’s English Class
This story about young man’s portrait
that bears all his sin while he remain
unaffected. The further the story goes
the more hideous his behavior becomes;
the worse his picture looks.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas
explored in a literary work.
The Purpose of Art
The Supremacy of Youth and Beauty
The Superficial Nature of Society
The Negative Consequences of
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices
that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The picture of Dorian Gray, “the most magical of mirrors,” shows Dorian
the physical burdens of age and sin from which he has been spared.
Homoerotic Male Relationships
The homoerotic bonds between men play a large role in structuring the
novel. Basil’s painting shows his love for Dorian
Lord Henry is overcome with the desire to seduce Dorian and mold him
into the realization of a type.
The Color White
Interestingly, Dorian’s trajectory from figure of innocence to figure of
degradation can be charted by Wilde’s use of the color white. White
usually connotes innocence and blankness, as it does when Dorian is
Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors
used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
The Opium Dens
The opium dens, located in a remote and derelict section
of London, represent the sordid state of Dorian’s mind and
James Vane is less a believable character than an
embodiment of Dorian’s tortured conscience.
The Yellow Book
Lord Henry gives Dorian a copy of the yellow book as a
gift. The book represents the profound and damaging
influence that art can have over an individual and serves
as a warning to those who would surrender themselves so
completely to such an influence.
A radiantly handsome,
portrait the artist Basil
Under the influence of
Lord Henry Wotton,
extremely concerned with
the transience of his
beauty and begins to
pursue his own pleasure
above all else.
Lord Henry Wotton
A nobleman and a close
friend of Basil Hallward.
Urbane and witty, Lord Henry
is perpetually armed and
ready with well-phrased
epigrams criticizing the
moralism and hypocrisy of
philosophy of “new
Hedonism,” which espouses
collecting experiences that
stimulate the senses without
regard for conventional
He plays a vital role in
An artist, and a
friend of Lord Henry.
After meeting him at
a party, Basil
He creates a portrait
of Dorian, which
proves to be
his masterpiece as
well as Dorian’s
Sibyl - A poor, beautiful, and talented actress who
Dorian falls in love. Sibyl’s love for Dorian
compromises her ability to act.
James - Sibyl’s brother, a sailor bound for Australia.
He does not like Dorian. He believes that Mrs.
Vane’s interest in Dorian’s wealth disables her from
properly protecting Sibyl.
Mrs. Vane - Sibyl and James’s mother. Mrs. Vane is
a faded actress who has consigned herself and her
daughter to a tasteless theater company. She
conceives of Dorian Gray as a wonderful alliance for
her daughter because of his wealth; this ulterior
motive, however, clouds her judgment and leaves
Alan Campbell - Once an intimate friend of Dorian, but cuts his
relationship with him because of Dorian’s sullied reputation.
Lady Agatha - Lord Henry’s aunt and active in charity work in the
Lord Fermor - Lord Henry’s grumpy uncle. Lord Fermor tells Henry
the story of Dorian’s parentage.
Duchess of Monmouth - A pretty, bored young noblewoman who flirts
with Dorian at his country estate.
Victoria Wotton - Lord Henry’s wife.
Victor - Dorian’s servant who Dorian becomes suspicious of him, so
he sends him out on needless errands to ensure that he does not
attempt to steal a glance at his portrait.
Mrs. Leaf - Dorian Gray’s housekeeper. Mrs. Leaf is a busy older
Project for this Book – Self Portrait
You will create a self-portrait. It will be a
collage that representation of you.
Once completed, you should take your
artwork and age it by 10 years
How do you look and feel now?
How will you look and feel in the future?
Will you be a Dorian Gray or something
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