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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Good vs. Evil

Man, do we love a good, old fashioned catfight between Good and Evil. Seriously, this is the oldest play in the book, but it's still good pretty much every time. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, the...

Youth

Eternal youth is something pretty much everyone dreams of, but nobody attains – nobody, that is, except for Dorian Gray. Sure, it sounds great. After all, youth goes hand in hand with beauty,...

Mortality

Death and age really get a bad rap in The Picture of Dorian Gray. To our protagonist, the most important things in life are youth and beauty – really, they're the only important things. Losin...

Art and Culture

There's an interesting difference in The Picture of Dorian Gray between these two terms, "art" and "culture." While we might normally view them as two part of the same whole, Wilde asks us to exami...

Innocence

The Picture of Dorian Gray asks us to consider a lot of Big Issues – and key among them is the idea of innocence. The thing is, it's kind of tough to figure out what's going on with innocence...

Morality and Ethics

Everyone in The Picture of Dorian Gray has his or her own moral scale, and the result is a world in which we're not quite sure what's right or wrong. That being said, some things are definitely wro...

Appearances

You've probably heard this saying about a billion and one times, but since it's so very correct, we think it bears repeating: "Don't judge a book by its cover." Really, don't do it. As we see in Th...

Transformation

"Transformation" sounds all optimistic and happy (think butterflies!) but, in fact, it can be a terrible thing. Take Dorian Gray, for example. He begins in The Picture of Dorian Gray as a kind of h...

Sexuality and Sexual Identity

Homosexuality is often the elephant in the room when you talk about Oscar Wilde these days. Though married with children, Wilde had male lovers, which resulted to a huge scandal during his day and...

Friendship

As in life, everyone has different ideas about the nature of friendship in The Picture of Dorian Gray. To some, it entails great things like devotion, admiration, and loyalty – but, to others...
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