The Picture of Dorian Gray

by Taylor Crumpton

Differences between the novel and the film

P-L-O-T! What does that spell? PLOT!

The plot of the movie Dorian Gray is not the same plot that is in the novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" it borrows some details from the novel but the film made up characters and story lines that didn't exist in the novel.

And So it Begins...

  1. Lord Henry is admiring Basil's painting of a young man and wishes to show that painting even though Basil refuses
  2. The young man Dorian Gray comes over to visit Basil and finds Lord Henry's ideology about living for one person's pleasure intriguing
  3. Henry jokes about how Gray's looks won't last forever in response Gray vows that he stays as young as his painting and starts a friendship with Henry despite Basil's warnings
  4. Henry curious about Gray learns about Gray's upbringing from his uncle
  5. Gray comes over to Henry's house to him he has fallen in love with the actress Sibyl


  • Dorian Gray comes to London to inherit his abusive grandfather's estate
  • Lord Henry takes Gray under his wing and after seeing a picture of him commissioned by Basil; Gray pledges that he wants to stay young forever
  • Henry takes Gray to see a play which results in Gray falling in love with the actress Sibyl

Why do this differences matter?

This matter because?

By the film adding too many story lines and characters to appeal to a modern audience; it kills the meaning of "The Picture of Dorian Gray". The novel shows you the negatives of the lifestyle of the time and how being self obsessed can ruin the lives of others. While the film just depicts a rich boy who doesn't learn a lesson until a woman changes his viewpoint on the lifestyle. A woman that doesn't even exist in the novel!

Without including these important details such as the original plot of the novel the film isn't The Picture of Dorian Gray. Just film that borrows minor details from the novel.