The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeWritten in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it ﬁrst appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting inﬂuence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
Teaching The Picture of Dorian Gray
Schools and Districts: We offer customized programs that won't break the bank. Okay, we might be a little dazed and confused and mixing up our quotes. But one thing we are sure of is how to teach The Picture of Dorian Gray, a difficult novel full of secret desires and sexual identity issues. This Portrait isn't paint-by-number, but Shmoop can help you color inside—and outside—the lines. Shmoop is a labor of love from folks who love to teach. Our teaching guides will help you supplement in-classroom learning with fun, engaging, and relatable learning materials that bring literature to life. Inside each guide you'll find quizzes, activity ideas, discussion questions, and more—all written by experts and designed to save you time.
Oscar Wilde's beautifully written novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray , is a great way to introduce students to Aestheticism and the Gothic horror novel. An overview of the Aesthetic Movement and Gothic fiction will allow students to better identify elements from the philosophy and genre. As in many of his works, Wilde satirizes Victorian society. Before beginning the novel, students should learn about Victorian morality and social classes. While reading, the class can discuss how Wilde critiques the aristocratic lifestyle and emphasis on appearance over substance.
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It is also an often quoted and referenced novel with numerous film adaptations and at least one graphic novel adaptation. Apart from providing a colourful and entertaining language experience, the themes of the novel youth and beauty, hedonism, Aestheticism, the purpose of art, the Faustian bargain, good and evil offer discussion points for your whole class. It is a novel that will equally appeal to the boys and girls in your class. Level 4 reader, adapted by Elspeth Rawstron, illustrated by Rossella Trionfetti. Project this page onto the wall or the interactive whiteboard.