Class 11 English – The Oval Portrait Summary

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Summary and Exercise of Class 11 English – The Oval Portrait

Here is the Class 11 English – The Oval Portrait Summary and Exercise. All of the questions have clear, concise, and easy-to-understand answers.

“The Oval Portrait” is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe.

Summary of “The Oval Portrait” Class 11

The Oval Portrait is a short horror story by Edgar Allan Poe which deals with the theme of the relationship between art and life. The writer has presented this story with its dark setting and the mood of the narrator. This story begins with an injured narrator who takes shelter along with his servant in an abandoned mansion in the Apennines. They choose one of the rooms in the mansion. The narrator shows a keen interest in those strange paintings decorating the walls of a room.

At around midnight, he adjusts the candle in the room, closer to the books. The narrator immediately discovers a before unnoticed painting in an oval-shaped frame. It reveals the head and shoulders of a young girl. The narrator is quite attached to this painting because it seems very lively. Soon the narrator eagerly consults the book for an explanation of a picture. Then he discovered that the woman whose painting was made was the young bride of the artist who cared more about his work rather than anything else in the world including his wife too. On the other hand, the woman was the perfect wife in every respect except she was quite jealous of her husband’s art. One day on demand of her artist husband, he starts painting of his wife. He was so much obsessed with capturing her beautifulness, that he rarely took his eyes off the canvas even to watch his wife. The wife remained humble and obedient and keep on giving the same pose for many weeks without a single word of complaint but her health becomes increasingly poor as the work continued. When the portrait is about to finish, the artist was excited and delighted with his perfect work. He then looks at his wife and found her dead.

Central Theme

The central theme in “The Oval Portrait” presents the confusing relationship between art and life. This story has shown the destructive power or the addiction of art and love. Both art and love can lead anyone towards perfection whereas they can bring destructive results in anyone’s life too. Although the artist of this story has become successful through his artistic work, his wife became a victim. On the other hand, she lost her husband so extremely that she doesn’t reveal her pains and sufferings and lose her life. This story also suggests that a women’s beauty condensed her to death. The story has tried to reveal that excessive passion for something always gives bad results.

Complete Exercise

You can check out the exercise solution of this unit from the following button.


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