Tag: morality

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Posted June 28, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book of the Month, Classic, Gothic / 0 Comments

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeTitle: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Goodreads)
Author: Oscar Wilde
Published: Barnes & Noble Classics, 1890
Pages: 248
Genres: Classic
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I feel perplexed about The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. On one hand, the story is well written about a young man being moulded and shaped. On the other hand, this book was incredibly flowery and doesn’t really start for 100 pages. Dorian doesn’t really know about life and meets an artist and an aristocrat that help him though his journey into manhood. The artist paints his portrait, subsequently making him keep his youth. The aristocrat had the biggest influence on Dorian Gray, though Lord Harry Wotton is very annoying. He talks and talks the whole way through this book, thinking he’s so witty.

Dorian Gray starts off in this novel as a blank slate, an easily influenced young man. Throughout the rest of the story he gets moulded and pushed into shape. After Basil paints his portrait Dorian starts to unravel, afraid to show the picture, he locks it way in a room and never lets anyone see it, protecting it at all costs. The whole thing symbolising the way we hide our real selves from the rest of the world, scared of what they may think.

The Picture of Dorian Gray would have been controversial in its day, with strong homosexual themes. Though the book itself is more about the life and morality, Oscar Wilde did a brilliant job of capturing this element of the book. For me the biggest downfall of this book was that Lord Wotton was too loud and dominates throughout the entire book.