Colors symbolic of purity and innocence and sin and gore populate the story at crucial moments. One of the first noticeable examples is when Sybil’s Vane’s body is described as “little” and “white”, emphasizing her ruined purity. Dorian’s devolvement into a monstrous, unnatural figure is stained with bloody colors. Increasingly, as we move towards the climax of the novel, redness seems to gather until Dorian starts to see blood-like marks on his portrait. These color symbols create a visual surface in the text, showing us clearly the difference between right and wrong and giving the action a kind of painted effect.
White and Red Quotes in The Picture of Dorian Gray
The The Picture of Dorian Gray quotes below all refer to the symbol of White and Red. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray published in 2003.).
White and Red Symbol Timeline in The Picture of Dorian Gray
The timeline below shows where the symbol White and Red appears in The Picture of Dorian Gray. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...these things come from vanity. As he becomes more and more distressed, he notices that red stains have grown on the painting, like blood. He considers making a confession. His own... (full context)