The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (non-spoiler review)

Book: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis:

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”


INITIAL THOUGHTS

Classics are hard for me to read, but I was excited about this one. I took philosophy for a semester and while it wasn’t the subject for me, I still loved it. So mention stuff like morality and this book went up on my TBR immeadiately. Not to mention that a lot of people have told me that this is one of their favourite classics.


PLOT

I can’t stop thinking about this book (actually can’t), I enjoyed it so much. It made me think. ReALly think. There is so much to take away from this book. It explores morality, superficiality, flaws, being human, art etc. A LOT. Honeslty, I’m not the right person to review this book, but I 100% recommend it.

(Also I loved the ending. Basically the whole book)


EXECUTION

EXcuse me. The pace, the plot, the narration, the prose. Ahhhh. It was spot on for me.


CHARACTERS

Basil Hallward: He’s an artist, and is the one who paints the picture of Dorian Gray. He does try to stop Lord Henry from spouting out everything and influencing Dorian, but well. He really believes in beauty and goodness, but mistakenly believes that Dorian’s beauty also makes him good.

Lord Henry: Lord Henry has so many thoughts, and isn’t at all helpful to the young and impressionable Dorian Gray. His thoughts are paradoxical and almost (okay pretty much though) poisonous to Dorian Gray. I loved reading the dialogue with Lord Henry in it.

Dorian Gray: COughs. Well… Dorian realises that beauty, his beauty, is not forever. and his character is defined by his beauty. So what does he do, but basically sell his soul to the devil. Not even kidding. TPODG is a story of influence, beauty/the superficial nature of society and morality. It’s the story of Dorian Gray, and dang. He’s an impressionable character for sure, and we get to witness his decline and undoing.


A shorter bullet-point review can be found on my Goodreads here.

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Talk To Me

Have you read TPODG? Is it on you TBR? What about Oscar Wilde’s other books? Are your opinions the same as mine? Or are they totally different?


Until next time,

Cindy

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