Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty; he believes that Dorian's beauty is responsible for the new mood in his art as a painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic world view: that beauty and sensual fulfilment are the only things worth pursuing in life. Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful; all the while, his portrait ages and records every sin.
Wilde’s only novel has long been recognized as a critique of Victorian society, but it is more than obvious tha it is stil relevant today. As author said: “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” The Picture of Dorian Gray was subject to much controversy and criticism in its time but has come to be recognized as a classic of gothic literature.