dinsdag 22 september 2015

Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray


This is my review of my second time reading The Picture of Dorian Gray. This book has 2 pages preface by Oscar Wilde himself, 231 pages of story and 9 pages by Peter Ackroyd about Oscar Wilde.

“In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world. For over a century, this mesmerizing tale of horror and suspense has enjoyed wide popularity. It ranks as one of Wilde's most important creations and among the classic achievements of its kind.”

I love this novel.

Wilde’s prose is so, so beautiful! It flows like an amazing waterfall; without interruption and ever going further but still easy to read and straightforward.

The plot is perfectly paced and it brings us from an amiable young man to lies, pain and despair.
The story is sinister, dark, compelling, incredible, atmospheric, engaging, cynical and gripping; it’s devoid of any form of hope or true love and friendship.

"Be careful what you wish for" has never been truer than it is in this classic novel.
This society is just generally self-obsessed; they’re vain, they only think about their appearance and their social standing. Hey? That’s true for today’s society too!
Dorian only thinks about himself and his pleasure and social standing without any regard for other people, society or morality. He’s selfish and shallow.
Wilde’s characterization is amazing. There are only a few characters and two important ones actually and they are very clearly actualized.
Lord Henry is the most despicable character ever. If you see Basil as the Voice of Good then Henry definitely is Dorian’s Voice of Evil. He’s cruel, vile and hateful towards women.

This story is also about the Beauty bias. This means that beautiful people are easier forgiven and more loved. And that’s definitely true for Dorian.
‘Each of us has heaven and hell in him’ and Dorian needs to accept that.

Happy reading!