Fazila
Fazila asked:

i believe that every book has two meanings to it one which is apparent and the other depends upon the reader i cant get the deeper meaning of the story?

To answer questions about The Picture of Dorian Gray, please sign up.
Madawa possibly how we have an image of ourselves which we try to preserve, but its is our actions that defines us. To look one way and act another is ruinous. I think there is a meaning of not pretending, not to be a hedonist and not to follow others blindly.
Cyokie
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
zephyr The more you read Oscar Wilde, the more you understand what he writes and to what purpose. So if you truly want to understand The Picture of Dorian Gray in its fullness, read hella Wilde and delve into his life.
Aside from the quite obvious overall moral--that to give into one's vanities and desires is to rot your essence-- he incorporates many interesting ideas. One of the ones I felt was relevant--and this very same idea can be found in his De Profundis--was the idea that it is not one's actions that are foul, it is what one becomes. So while Dorian felt pleasure in his endeavors, the pleasure itself wasn't bad. The actions aren't even bad. It was who he became as a result of them--that's where the evil resided.
I have so much to say about this book, but i'll stop here lol!
Roy Rada I think as a general answer to your question, a book has more than two meanings. Each book certainly has at least one meaning (the author's intended messages). Every book also has infinite possibility for alternative meanings. Every person who reads the book perceives the message in the context of their own life experiences. Therefore, every reader can take a different meaning. Often I see people arguing about the true meaning of a book, when in reality they are both right and simply disagree with one another's perception.
Helena Every time I read a literary masterpiece such as The Picture of Dorian Gray I get something more out of it. As Oscar Wilde himself said: ''If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.'' But still the book represents a kind of mystery to me in certain aspects. It's like the portrait itself: great but mysterious. Maybe Oscar put ''too much of himself into it'' and it represents ''the deepest secrets of his own soul''. Who knows. But still, can't wait to read it again to see what new aspects of it will be unveiled this time.
Lauren Henry
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
r. chloe I see this book as a sort of cautionary moral tale at the surface (which is more socially acceptable) but underneath that it's a covert platform for Wilde to convey his personal worldview through the character of Henry (hedonism/nihilism/etc).
Hamda I actually found some social commentary in the book. When Dorian started to change into a horrid person people reacted to him in two ways.

The young and inexperienced saw only what was in front of them and followed him to their ruin... most didn't even blame him for it!

The wiser and more worldly wouldn't even sit in the same room as him even though he has done nothing to them. he gained his bad reputation not from his deeds but from their reaction.

Sometimes you should follow your instinct not you eyes, after all the eyes are easily fooled.
Eugene " `cause you know sometimes words have two meanings. In a tree by the..."
I`ve just recalled this terrific lyrics for a moment ;)
Tim The entire thing is an allegory. Dorian surrenders his morals because he values beauty and youth more highly, and the picture reveals the true internal ugliness that has come from his vanity. Overall it's also saying that growing up is not a bad thing, and getting old is just a fact of life. Attempting to resist can lead to no good.
Angelica How do you mean you can't get the deeper meaning? If you don't find the deeper meaning I'd think that just means you either should give the book more time - do anything but rush through. Or it perhaps that you try to hard to find the deeper meaning that should be the correct? There's no such thing as a correct meaning in true art. Art is art and must remain open for the observer to interpret. Liberty for the reader to find and give a deeper meaning, in whatever result given. It's about relating to yourself, your emotions, your life and your regard of everything. And also, not to forget, what new perspectives you might receive and/or ponder about because of the art.
However all this require you giving the art sufficient of space for you to receive it, as well as your creativity.
In your reading perhaps you should be more gentle, taking your time, reading every single phrase and let it show its beauty.
Image for The Picture of Dorian Gray
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more