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The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray


by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray Theme of 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, excitement, and general all-around lovability. Youth is glorified to a extreme degree in The Picture of Dorian Gray, as basically the most valuable quantity known to man.

However, Dorian's eternal youth comes at a terrible price: he essentially has to sell his soul to get it (something that never turns out well). The moral of the story is, you should enjoy and appreciate youth while you have it – but just give it up when the time comes.

Questions About Youth

  1. Is there anything more valuable than youth in Dorian's eyes?
  2. If Dorian had not destroyed the portrait, what do you think would have happened to him? Would he have stayed eternally youthful?
  3. What qualities does youth represent in this novel?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Dorian Gray demonstrates that the mere image of youth is not youth itself.

One of the central conflicts of The Picture of Dorian Gray is between youth and experience.

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