Symbolism in a story, novel or a poem shows the use of a symbol that has a deeper meaning and also symbolizes something else. Symbolism is one of the main themes that have been greatly used in the book “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. These themes include the portrait, the yellow book, cigarette, collieries, cigarettes and the laburnum.
The opium tainted cigarette in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a representation of the corrupt lifestyle of Lord Henry. Lord Henry is a selfish character who claims to have the whole world in his hands and instead of doing something creative to humanity, he is a person who conducts his activities in an arrogant manner. He is only concerned with his own pleasure, not even his friends matter to him. For instance, Basil who is one of his best friends back from the University disappears for a long period, and Henry is not concerned about his whereabouts. The cigarette is a symbol of how Lord Henry views people and also life in general (Oscar 56).
The portrait of the picture is itself a symbol in the book. Actually, it is the main symbol that is used by the author; the portrait is a symbolic representation of the state of Dorian's soul as it is like a living allegory, an interpretation of the soul of Dorian. Overall, the picture is a representation of Dorian’s inner self that turns out to be uglier every minute and also for every crime that he commits. The image of true existence is represented in the portrait as his soul becomes more corrupt (Oscar 76). Its evil is portrayed on the surface of the canvas.
The yellow book is another symbol in the book. The author uses the yellow book to show the influence of corruption that Lord Henry has on the youth, considering the book is given to Dorian by Lord...