Free Study Guide for The Picture of Dorian Gray: Book Summary |
Dorian wonders what he should do. He wonders if he will have to confess the murder before he will be free of the guilt of it. He doesnít want to confess because he doesnít want to be put in jail. He wonders if the murder will follow him all his life. Finally he decides to destroy the portrait. He finds the knife he used to kill Basil. He rushes to the portrait and stabs at it.
Downstairs on the street below, two men are passing by when they hear a loud scream. They rush for a policeman who knocks on the door, but no one comes. The men ask the policeman whose house it is. When they hear it is Dorian Grayís, they sneer and walk away. Inside, the servants rush up to the room from whence the sound came. They try the door but itís locked. Two of them go around by way of the roof to get in through the window. When they get inside, they find Dorian Gray stabbed in the heart and above him a glorious portrait of him hanging on the wall. The man stabbed on the floor is wrinkled and ugly. They donít eve recognize him until they see the rings on his fingers.
The novel ends with the conflation of the art and the subject. Dorian stabs the portrait, trying to destroy it, and the effect is that he kills himself. The mystery of the novel is kept in tact. The reader never knows if the portrait magically transformed itself, or if it was a figment of Dorianís--and later, Basilís imagination. When people who are not at all attached to the portrait see it in the end, they see nothing more than the beautiful portrait of Dorian Gray as young man.
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. 09 May 2017