I started to read “The Picture of Dorian Gray” because I was curious. I knew a bit about the idea of the novel from school, which was then trivialized by a certain movie, but I thought I should really read the book, as I was sure it bore more meaning than a few details in a school book or a fugitive character in a Hollywood movie. And I was right.
The book reveals views (different, contradictory, innovating, challenging) on everything that matters: life, art, relationships, people, artists, sins, souls. And the quotes I chose open a window into the wonders of this book and will make you want to read it. At least I hope so.
What surprises me most about this book is that it is impossible to loathe or simply dislike Dorian. An innocent, impressionable young man, corrupted by too much flattery, strange ideas and yes, certain books. Subjected to a very cynical idea of life and how it should be lived, his dreamy mind and his pure soul end up loosing everything that is good, turning to way of life too dreadful to be described in detail.
The illusion of youth and beauty, the ability to go on unmarked by what you do and who you have become, all sustained by a society treasuring money and looks only, all of these give him the benefit of doubt.
There is another interesting question: who has corrupted Dorian Gray? The painter who worshiped him and made him think exterior beauty has a very high price? The lord who filled his mind with dangerous ideas and gave him poisoning books. Who also gave him the impression all that is good will not outlast his beauty and youth? Or was it Dorian Gray, because he never tried to filter the ideas or principles shown to him as relevant? His own calling to be shallow?
Or maybe all of them. As they are all punished somehow. And which is the biggest punishment? Death or living without your dear ones, with the burden of what you have done?
Labels: Books, Oscar Wilde, Reviews