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The Picture of Dorian Gray


The Picture of Dorian Gray Study Guide Summary


This study guide is part of the "Mind the Gap" series created by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa, aimed at supporting Grade 12 English Home Language students. It focuses on "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, offering insights, analyses, and examination preparation tips specifically tailored to the curriculum's requirements.


The guide highlights the novel's exploration of beauty, morality, and the duality of human nature, as well as the corrupting influence of art and society. Students are encouraged to consider how these themes are represented through the characters and plot, and how they reflect Wilde's critique of Victorian society.


Dorian Gray, Lord Henry Wotton, and Basil Hallward are central to the study, with emphasis on their relationships and the influence they exert over one another. The guide prompts students to analyze the development of Dorian's character in relation to the moral and existential questions posed by his portrait's supernatural qualities.


A brief summary of the novel's plot is provided, focusing on Dorian's initial innocence, his corruption under Lord Henry's influence, and the tragic consequences of his pursuit of eternal beauty and youth. The guide suggests examining the narrative's structure and the symbolic significance of the portrait.

Exam Preparation

The guide offers detailed strategies for answering essay and contextual questions in the Grade 12 examination, advising students on how to structure their essays, integrate textual evidence, and develop coherent arguments.


"The Picture of Dorian Gray" study guide is an essential resource for Grade 12 students, providing them with the tools to critically engage with the novel and prepare for their English Home Language exams.