Challice Neipp's Reviews > The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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it was ok
bookshelves: read-the-classics-challenge

"How sad it is!" Murmured Dorian Gray, with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June.... If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that--for that--I wold give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give. I would give my own soul for that."

What a work of horror. It was written in a horror genre and left me feeling horrible.

"Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed. People talk sometimes of secret vices. There are no such things. If a wretched man has a vice, it shows itself in the lines of his mouth, the droop of of his eyelids, the moulding of his hands even."

Dorian Gray is the embodiment of having everything a man could want: youth, fame, fortune, material wealth, all religious relics, and treasures galore. Yet, he is a man who sold his own soul.

When a painter, named Basil, becomes infatuated with a beautiful young man, Dorian Gray, he commissions him to paint, ironically or intentionally by the author, the scene of Narcissus looking at his reflection. Basil becomes so in love of the innocence and a "personality [that] was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself." And soon after, the portrait of Dorian Gray is painted.

"We live in an age that reads too much to be wise, and that thinks too much to be beautiful."

Lord Henry enters the scene, he is the personification of modern ideals. The thought that everything is for oneself in one way or another. His flattery soon traps Dorian into a narcissistic self that becomes evident in the portrait. Many wild events take place and soon you realize that the soul of Dorian Gray is wrapped up in his portrait. Dorian Gray remains as youthful and beautiful as ever, while his portrait grows old and shows the vileness of character.

"My own personality has become a burden to me. I want to escape, to go away, to forget."

Lord Henry had some great liners, especially in regards to society. However, I disliked the man, but I don't think you are actually suppose to like any of the characters. At times Oscar Wilde seemed to have droned on with poetic scenes and much philosophical thoughts about human kind.

"Yes, Dorian, you will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you have never had the courage to commit." - Lord Henry.

As a whole, this was a grotesque but thought provoking book. I do not give it 3 stars on its writing, for that would receive 4 stars! I give it 3 because I pushed through it once, and only one. It's horror is enough for me. Am I a better person for it? I have learned nothing new.

In the end I can only think of Solomon who had it all, said, "vanities of vanity, all is vanity."

“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
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Reading Progress

October 19, 2018 – Started Reading
October 19, 2018 – Shelved
October 22, 2018 – Shelved as: read-the-classics-challenge
October 22, 2018 – Finished Reading

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