deliabookworm's Reviews > The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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's review
Jun 11, 2009

liked it

Well...I liked The Picture of Dorian Gray, I guess. Depressing. Very very depressing. Wilde has a bit too much fun with his adjectives--some of the paragraphs (speeches) were far too long and flowery. Lord Henry's character is developed way too fast. In the first chapter, he appears to be a kindly elderly man. By the next chapter, he's a corrupt man, prone to making impossibly long speeches. Also, the religious implications bothered me. When Basil begged Dorian to "repent" and pray, I was irritated that Wilde had brought up the subject of God more than halfway through the book. I also thought that James Vane should have been a more important character. With his impassioned declaration of revenge on "Prince Charming", I wasn't surprised when he showed up later. But I think that Wilde took the easy way out when Vane was killed in a shooting accident.
Okay, now that I've gotten the negative things out of my system, I actually did like the book. Disturbing, depressing, and definitely intense. I have to say, I think Basil might have been gay. His apparent obsession with Dorian certainly pointed things that way.
I'm still not quite sure what I think about the "moral" of the story, which is ironic, considering the book's reception as "immoral". Obviously, corruption is bad, and Lord Henry is the villain. But Harry's reversal of cliches (it's what's on the inside that counts) were just strange to me. It seems almost as though Wilde just threw in those ideas with a lot of adjectives and no thought. The speeches were almost too obviously bad, too corrupt.
I will probably reread this book sometime in the near future, in which case I will edit this review, with more definite ideas about what I think.

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