Joseph's Reviews > The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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's review
Aug 16, 12

really liked it

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a short, famous, eclectic novel. It features dark themes of corruption, murder and temptation, but also a few light sequences spoofing British society (much as Wilde's own The Importance of Being Earnest does so masterfully.) The dialogue is clever but often disturbing. One character in particular is the master at justifying wickedness and enabling bad behavior; he is simultaneously endearing, revolting and often hilarious.

But as allegory and symbol, Dorian Gray is difficult to place. There is some obvious foreshadowing (to the point of 50 pt neon signing) that comes to nothing and many symbols that don't become clear in any light.

Dorian Gray is a quick and entertaining read that will leave you thinking. It's status as a classic is worthwhile even if it doesn't all come together.
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Cecily I've always thought of it as Faustian, so the foreshadowing is a given. I'm not sure that weakens it, though.

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