The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde : A Book Review

dorianA young, naive, shy man at 17 ,with finely-curved scarlet lips, frank blue eyes,crisp gold hair – this is how Dorian is hardly depicted in the novel.I may not be able to completely imagine how strikingly handsome he is, but based on how the painter, Basil Hallward, who appears to be a closet gay, is fond of and devoted to him is,well, I may fall in love with him too.Everyone could be a cradle-robber.(laughs) But despite his oomph, I were bound to stay away from him; he gives me the creeps. He is unpredictable. He reminds me of the psychopath in American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Gee! For the life of me!

What makes the novel more interesting is that the characters’ dialogs are replete with polemic ideas. I have almost dogeared the book by highlighting the negative and positive points of Lord Henry particularly his ala Socrates feministic view. Shit on him! If he were such a real persona, I would rebutt him a lot. (laughs)
(But I think Lord Henry may be the smbolic archetype of the narrow-minded society at that time.)

The story for me is typical of a real novel.The beginning tells the emptiness of the protagonist ,its climax and ending narrates the cause and effect of his vainglory. In comparison with the famous writers in this modern century, they have different styles of how to circulate the plots. Besides, the good thing is Oscar Wilde peppered the story with witty words. However, since I am not much cognizant of the ancient literature, I could not relate to the figures and symbols namedropped in illustrating Dorian Gray’s obsession about beauty. I had to adverse myself to looking the archaic words up in a thick dictionary or in the Internet. ( Anyway,this is the essence of reading classics.)So reading the climax was like trudging through the mud, towards the flat , dry land of exciting denouement.

To understand Dorian Gray in the context of psychology, he is spectered by his bad childhood. Orphaned and repulsed by his grandfather, he has low-self esteem. Instilled in by Lord Henry’s philosophy and Basil Halwaark’s portrait of himself, he becomes vain about his looks. He wishes that the painting get along in years,for he loathes to get wrinkles himself . Beauty becomes his moral.For instance, he falls in love with a beautiful actress. He is crazy not only about her physical beauty, but also about her stellar performance on stage. But eventually, he will break up with her as she performs poorly. Vainglorious he is, he will not consider what his heart dictates to him. Rather, he will do as what his moral standard is- aesthetics. Unknowing to the consequences of his evil deeds, the painting turns out to have a soul;it will alter whenever he makes something immortal. It is a matter of Karma. As he wishes, the painting will become hideously ugly. But deep-rooted, he will be indifferent. He will become involved in orgies and other worldly activities. But since life is a matter of choice, Dorian Gray will have a deep realization, he wants to change. In fact, I was moved and I became empathic with him when he says,” I want to escape, go away, and forget.” Oh, poor Dorian Gray. He’s lost. As the banal saying goes,”Old habits die hard.” Whatever he does,whereever he goes, he will still be recidivistic, life has a moral consequence. As the introduction takes claims, ” There is always a price to be paid for uniquitous and self-indulgent behavior. ” It is a lesson we must keep in mind.

While reading this book, an idea bubbled into the chamber of my mind: It is human indeed that one who sets what is good or bad. But for sure, more or less the believers would rant and rave against my insight . As Lord Henry himself puts it,” It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue .” kkk

Before I read it , I was moved by the quotes – which must come from Wilde’s – about the concept of the novel, which I liked a lot.

The artist is the creator of beautiful things .
To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.
The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

Oh, nice one. I remembered the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars


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