Clare's Reviews > The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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's review
Nov 06, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: dedicated readers
Read in October, 2007

Oscar Wilde's only novel! I thoroughly enjoyed Wilde's ability to play with words, to toss them about and see where they land. There is a particular joy in finding a word used slightly out of sync to it's meaning, a stretching if you will. Wilde's thick, image driven, morally questionable (to most, not me) string of words delight the eye and impassion the mind. His dialogues demonstrate his future word play in plays. His ability to create synthesis between character types is magnificient, he allows his characters to feed off one another in subtle and not so subtle ways.

It is really poignant when you think of the turmoil of Wilde's own life and the idea of image driving the modern world. Dorian is captivated by the idea of the picture living on unbesmirched and clean while he must suffer the marking of time and experience. Wilde shows that unlinking these things, unhooking the soul from the body can be a terrible thing to behold. While Dorian's outer image stays idyllically static, his inner image as displayed by the canvas twists and turns foul with each act of questionable intent. Wilde himself became victim when his inner demons were publicly displayed, as would us all. While not considered highly questionable now, then it was devistating. Wilde seemed to fortell that the display of this innerself, one that you are ashamed (or taught to be ashamed of really) even to the closest few can shatter life, alter all that you know. While we are all destined to do things that inflict pain on others, even if unintentionally, it alters our spirit. Nothing in life is static even if it seems so. Life is mutable and ever changing and to wish it to be otherwise is to doom oneself to eventual distatisfaction.
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