Symbols in the Picture of Dorian Gray

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Symbols

Symbols are objects, characters, figures, and colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.

The Opium Dens

The opium dens, located in a remote and derelict section of London, represent the sordid state of Dorian’s mind. He flees to them at a crucial moment. After killing Basil, Dorian seeks to forget the awfulness of his crimes by losing consciousness in a drug-induced stupor. Although he has a canister of opium in his home, he leaves the safety of his neat and proper parlor to travel to the dark dens that reflect the degradation of his soul.

James Vane

James Vane is less a believable character than an embodiment of Dorian’s tortured conscience. As Sibyl’s brother, he is a rather flat caricature of the avenging relative. Still, Wilde saw him…

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