The structure of The Picture of Dorian Gray is unambiguously, rigorously moral. Through the portrait, Wilde monitors Dorian’s steady, irreversible progress toward damnation. The murder of Basil Hallward constitutes the crisis of the novel and divides it into two fairly symmetrical halves, the second of which also ends on the climactic note of murder—though this time it is self-murder— committed with the same weapon. Wilde builds upon this foundation a system of analogous and contrasting characters and character relationships that he apportions between the halves of the plot...
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