The Picture of Dorian Gray
From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) | Written by: Oscar Wilde | Published by: Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis
What it do gangstas? This week we gettin hedonistic with The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
Up in nineteenth century London, an artist named Basil just finished his masterpiece- a portrait of some fine-lookin stud named Dorian Gray. His boy Lord Henry be all like “Damn! That boy is fine!”
When Dorian rolls in to peep game at his painting, Lord Henry start
preachin to Dorian bout how a pretty boy like him ain’t gonna stay pretty forever. So he gotta drop bein all virtuous and chase dem pleasures of the flesh while he still got it. Dorian seems like he dig, so he takes his portrait home and start chillin with Lord Henry on the reg.
A month later Dorian tells Lord H that he got himself a new dame- some actress named Sybil. And like THAT, Dorian wanna put a ring on it. S’all good til one night Dorian takes his boys to see Sybil shake it on stage. But she be straight trippin. Sybil so bad that Dorian be all like “the fuck girl?” Sybil say she so in love with his fine self that she don’t care bout acting anymore. But Dorian ain’t dealin with no has-beens and dumps her ass right then and there. Dorian comes home and notices that his portrait changed somehow and now it got a nasty sneer all up on his mug. When word comes that Sybil dun iced herself, Dorian decide he don’t give a FU** no mo and gonna lock that portrait upstairs and devote himself to lusty livin.
Years pass and word on the street is that even though Dorian still young and fine, he been up to some scandalous shit. One day he runs in to Basil who say that a lotta hoods be talkin mess bout his rep. Basil say “is it for real?”
Then Dorian take Basil back to his crib where lets the painting do the talking. And dat thing ALL jacked up now. Dorian gets so riled up at the thought of his ruined image that he grabs a knife and shanks Basil! That fool dead. Later, Dorian hits up Lord Henry and tell him that he done with all that hedonistic garb and wanna be good again. But Lord Henry just think he playin and don’t pay him no mind.
Then Dorian goes up to the portrait to see if it’s changed now that he wanna be righteous, but that ugly ass mug is nastier than ever. After hearing a big ass thump, Dorian’s servants run upstairs
where they see a wrinkly-ass corpse, and a portrait of young Dorian look all fine. Ain’t that a bitch?
Now back before this story dropped in 1890s, Wilde was beefin with his tight-ass publishers who weren’t diggin all the steamy bro-on-bro action. It wasn’t until 2011 that the uncensored typescript hit the streets.
But why these haters gotta hate? Cuz on the real, most homies say Wilde JUST layin down a morality
tale. See, Dorian’s mind always warring between two philosophies: of either livin the moral life or sayin “man fu** dat mess” and chase all dem human temptations. Since Basil’s always gettin his tighties all bunched up over Dorian’s purity, he reppin the moral side. Basil is what some thugz consider to be the ‘good,’ or ‘conscience.’
Whereas Harry’s dirty self reppin the wild side of humanity that only care about intensity of feeling. To Harry, Dorian ain’t nothin more than a choice piece of meat. As Dorian keep sinkin in to Henry’s
whack ass hedonism, the portrait gets fuglier and fuglier, like it’s his soul telling him he dun fu**ed up and chose the wrong path.
That’s one of the reasons his hiding spot bothers him so much.
“Every moment of his lonely childhood came back to him, as he looked round. He remembered the stainless purity of his boyish life, and it seemed horrible to him that it was here that the fatal portrait was to be hidden away.” (153)
But what Dorian don’t see is that nothing simple as good and evil. It ain’t just his vices that he trying to hide from the world- it’s also a part of himself. Like Wilde himself said: “All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment.”
Truth is, if you tryin to say that life is ALL ABOUT purity or sin or the body and the soul, then you straight trippin. Cuz what’s really fu**in up Dorian’s game is that he thinks he gotta chose one or the other. Fool needs to realize that a real playa embraces all those things.
Like Dorian say “Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him.”
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