'The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a tale about human vanity, and the search of eternal youth, cleansed of all sins. Indeed, who wouldn't want a portrait to bear all the brunt of age, and of our most abominable mistakes? It sounds quite utopian. However, Wilde showed us that seeking such impossible dreams would just ruin our soul, lead us to a corrupt state. In the end it is a pitiful and miserable Dorian that is portrayed. His blood-sullied hands, his hypocrisy, and every crime he has committed, which he thought would be borne solely by his altering picture actually became an obsession. His life could never become the one he coveted.
“Each man lived his own life, and paid a price for living it. The only pity was one had to pay so often for a single fault. One had to pay over and over again indeed. In her dealings with Man Destiny never closed her accounts”
A truth to which Dorian Gray could not possibly conform.
At times the story would be marked by personal philosophical notes from the author himself about his observations of society at large and more about Man himself. His perception of the world around him is very striking. His words indeed marked the spirits.
“In the common world of fact the wicked were not punished, nor the good rewarded. Success was given to the strong, failure thrust upon the weak. That was all.”