Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Review of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde

"The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde's only full-length novel, is the enduringly eerie story of a naive and irresistible young man lured by decadent Lord Henry Wotton into a life of depravity.  Though dorian is steeped in sin, his face remains perfect, unlined as years pass-- while his portrait, locked away, reveals the blackness of his soul.  This tale's elements of Gothic horror and fable render it timeless, and the unabashed hedonism and cynical wit of its characters epitomize Wilde's literary revolt against the properties of the Victorian era."

This was a very strange read, as far as the story goes.  It's strange, but I really did like it.  It's always fun when something so internal as the soul is turned inside out and presented in a very visual way.  It really helps because while we might know what sins are, it's very different to see what sin looks like, especially when they accumulate and appear on the face of a beautiful individual (painting or no painting).

What was really intriguing to me was how willing nearly everyone was to forgive or dismiss Dorian when he did sinful things.  It was all due to the fact that he was beautiful; he couldn't possibly be capable of doing awful things like killing people and doing drugs, right?


Even when Dorian admitted to killing Basil, the artist who immortalized Dorian through painting, characters like Lord Henry scoffed and were like, "Yeah, right.  How could you?  You're young and beautiful.  You're not capable of such a thing."  Ordinarily, Dorian would have been chewed apart by all of the wrong things he's done and it would have appeared in some way shape or form, but instead, he suffers the guilt.  To me, that's much, much worse.

I'm surprised that Dorian survived that long with that much guilt.  I know that I couldn't do that.  I think Oscar Wilde did an amazing job with writing this novel.  I really wish that he wrote more novels.  Luckily, there are still his plays to read!

Something else that I really liked were Lord Henry's witty phrases.  They're really interesting because when taken out of context, they are pretty applicable to a number of lives and the advice seems sound.  However, when placed back in context, one can't help but think, "Henry, what are you doing?"

This book is wonderful if you're interested in reading the classics or if you're looking for a witty and thought-provoking read.

I give 'The Picture of Dorian Gray':
Thanks for Reading!


1 comment:

  1. I've started this book TWICE but still haven't finished it. I'm going to do it some day! Great review. Thanks for the reminder.


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