The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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In what way is the setting significant of The Picture of Dorian Gray?

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Gothic literature is always concerned with the duality of society and reflects the anxieties simmering beneath the surface. Never is this more true than in the fin de siecle Gothic classics: Stoker's Dracula, Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray, and Stephenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, all of which are concerned with the idea that the politeness of late Victorian society is only a veneer, beneath which society is dark and ugly. Dorian Gray, like Jekyll and Hyde, is set in London, a city which serves to represent a whole sprawling empire. London, in this novel, is a microcosm of society as a whole: Dorian moves between the respectable London of the upper class, and the back-alley London that is, perhaps, more the "real" London, representing the fact that the image society portrays of itself is not necessarily the truth. Wilde debated this concern of illusion and reality repeatedly: "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." In the darkness, and...

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