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  1. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
    • Posts: 863

    reading log: The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Hi, could you please try to correct this "essay" (better said substance of the book The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde)? I wrote it for school, but I have to give it to my teacher tomorrow, but she isn't going to correct it, anyway. That's why I decided to ask you to do that... You know, I would like to know mistakes I do - it is the only way hoew to improve.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Genre: a novel

    Oscar Wilde
    was born in Dublin in 1854. He went to college there and then continued his studies in Oxford, where in 1878 he won a poetry prize. In 1882, his first book of poems was published and the next year he went to the USA to give talks. In 1884, he got married, and in 1888 he wrote a book of stories for his sons, The Happy Prince and Other Tales. He wrote other books of stories, but the picture of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) was his only novel. When it appeared, many pepole were angry, saying that it was a bad book with evil ideas. But Wilde did not agree that books could be bad or evil. ‘Books are well written or badly written. That is all,’ he wrote.
    Wilde wrote his first play in 1883, but it was not succesful and neither was the next one. However, Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) was very popular with theatre-goers because of the clever words and the clear picture of people and the way they lived. Wilde’s succes continued until his greatest play, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), but in that same year he was sent to prison because of his relationship with other man, Lord Alfred Douglas. When he came out in 1897, he went to live in France, where he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem about his experience of prison life. He died in Paris, in 1900. Today people still laugh at the clever things that Oscar Wilde said or wrote, but at the time some people did not think he was so clever. The painter Whistler was once talking to Wilde and said something amusing. Wilde said, ‘I wish I had said that.’ Whistler replied, ‘You will, Oscar, you will.’

    Publisher: Oxford Bookworms Library
    Stage 3 (1000headwords)

    The main characters: Dorian Gray – a still young looking man, Lord Kelsor’s grandson, his mother was Lady Margaret Devereux
    Basil Hallward – Dorian’s friend
    Lord Henry Wotton – Dorian’s friend who teach him to to live a real and meaningful life
    Lady Agatha – an auntin of Dorian
    Sybil Vane – a girl that loved Dorian, later she killed herslef because he had told her he didn’t like her
    James Vane – a sailor, brother of Sybil

    Substance of the book: Basil met Dorian at a party at Lady Brandon’s house. Basil began to like Dorian very much and got used to meet him every day. He also painted Dorian’s portrait. Though they were friends, Basil thought that sometimes the hurting him was making Dorian happy.
    Basil’s friend Lord Henry found the Basil’s portrait of Dorian the best of all pictures Basil had ever painted and tells him to give it to an art-gallery. But Basil didn’t want to as he liked the anonymity and when people paint something, they ussually give a lot from themselves to the painting. And so it was about the painting of Dorian. Pepole could have seen Basil’s feelings in the picture.
    When Henry met Dorian, he wanted to teach him how to live life, enjoy the youth and love. Soon, Dorian met an actress in a London theatre. She was playing Juliet in the play of Shakespeare’s. Her name was Sybil Vane. Dorian said he wanated not to stay as he was (he didn’t want to get older) but rather wanted the portrait of him to get older. That was an important wish that had changed all his life.
    Once, he went with Basil and Henry to the theatre to see Sybil playing. She wasn’t very good that day (she said it was because now she knew what the true love was – she was playing Juliet and she could have only pretended she knew the love. But she could pretend much better than understand it).
    That day, Dorian split up with Sybil. He thought he liked her only as an actress. When he returned back home, he noticed that the portrait had changed. His moth (in the painting) looked worse. It was showing his cruelty.
    The next day, Dorian decided to say sorry to Sybil try to love her again. But Henry came to him to tell him that Sybil had killed herself the last night.
    The picture of Dorian grew older every day. It was telling the real story. Many people still couldn’t believe the ugliness of his soul and came to dinners at his house.
    After his twenty-fifth year, the stories about him became worse. He wasn’t so succesful as in the past.
    Henry was going to France. He was happy he could have met Dorian before he left England. Dorian wanted to tell him the secret oh him – to to show him the picture of him. But after a moment, Dorian went slowly mad and didn’t suddenly want him to know anything about the secret, so he had killed him. He dug him into his neck several times. Afetr this, a blood on Dorian’s hand in the picture acceded to other signs showing his cruelty.
    One day, Dorian met James. James was Sybil’s brother and wanted to kill the murderer of his sister, but when he saw that Dorian looked too young (it had already happend 18 years ago and Dorian was 36 now, but he looked like a 20-year-old man.). So James didn’t kill him. But later, he found out it really was Dorian, so he was eventually going to kill him. Anyway, Dorian was safe very soon as James was shot (by mistake) on a shooting-party. Dorian felt very happy for this unexpected death of James, but it wasn’t he who had shot him.
    Soon, Dorian began to notice he hadn’t always behaved well and wanted to change it. He both hated the picture and was frightened of it. However, when the pcture still used to be pretty and he looked beautiful in it, he had liked it.
    Dorian finally decided to live his own life (altough he might have lost the youth) and as he hated the picture, he dug in himself in the picture of him.
    Suddenly, there was a terrible cry and a loud crash. The servants couldn’t open the door, so they climbed down from the roof and got in through thw window. Against the wall they saw a fine portrait of the young Dorian Gray, in all his wonderful youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, with a knife in his heart. His face was old and ugly and yellow with disease. Only the rings on his fingers told them who he was.

    My own opinion on the book: It’s a nice book about a young man and his feelings. All he loves is his youth and beauty. He’s perhaps a little big-headed. I liked the book as the plot is very good and has the feature of holding people’s interest.
    Last edited by Lenka; 04-Jan-2006 at 17:07.

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: reading log: The Picture of Dorian Gray

    then continued his studies in Oxford,- I'd use 'at' as it's the university really ore than the city.
    where in 1878 he won a poetry prize- where he won a poetry prize in 1878
    with other man- another
    still young looking man- I'd remove 'still'
    got used to meet- meeting
    Basil thought that sometimes the hurting him- unclear what you mean
    And so it was about the painting- I'd use 'with the painting'
    a blood- blood is uncountable
    when the pcture still used to be pretty- when the picture was still pretty

  3. Lenka's Avatar

    • Join Date: May 2004
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    Re: reading log: The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Thanks, tdol. Moreover, my teacher allowed me to give it to her on Monday, so I am even be able to correct it before...

    As to the sentence I wrote (Though they were friends, Basil thought that sometimes the hurting him was making Dorian happy. ) - could I write this instead? Would it be clear what I mean? :
    "Though they were friends, Basil thought that Dorian was sometimes happy to hurt him. "

  4. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    Re: reading log: The Picture of Dorian Gray

    That's fine.

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