Oscar Wilde “The Picture of Dorian Gray” book review by Viktorija Tamašauskaitė
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” “The Picture of Dorian Gray” – a story of a fashionable, evil and scandalous young man named Dorian Gray. He was a beautiful man, but very corrupt and looking only for beauty and material things in his life. This story shows us how young man’s desires can ruin whole his life and what the desires make Dorian Gray to give up for eternal youth and beauty – his soul. The story of Dorian Gray is the most popular Oscar Wilde’s book sold all over the world. In 1890 the tale of Dorian Gray and his immorality caused a big scandal back then. As the author of the novel said, Dorian Gray had a very big moral in himself, but did not explain what exactly he meant. A few years later, Oscar Wilde appeared in trial because of his homosexual liaisons. Everybody started wondering if author portrayed himself as Dorian Gray, O. Wilde had only one answer to that: “Basil Hallward is what I think I am; Lord Henry – what the world thinks of me; Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
“She is all the great heroines of the world in one. She is more than an individual. I love her, and I must make her love me. I want to make Romeo jealous. I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain. ”
A very handsome and self-confident has found a secret to be young and beautiful forever. Seeing all these people around him that are his age, Dorian understands how precious is the secret of his eternal youth and lives his life the best he can, partying and enjoying life as much as possible. He knew that his actions will not have any influence to him, Dorian Gray lives a very lavish and wild life, breaking heart after heart. Finally, he meets a girl who falls in love with him – Sybil Vane. We could say that Dorian Gray also falls in love with her, but when he treats her so badly we can understand one things – he cannot love a pure heart like Sybil’s. A girl, being treated so badly, finally cannot handle the pressure – she kills herself. But things don’t stop here. Sybil’s brother, James Vane, still blames Dorian Gray for his sister’s death and seeks for revenge. But Dorian has another dark secret – in his attic he is hiding a portrait of himself which is a secret to his youth. Gray’s body in real life remains healthy and young, while in the portrait he becomes older and uglier each day. Frightened of what he sees, Dorian Gray finds another beautiful and innocent girl to conquer – Hetty Merton. He promises himself to treat her right so that the picture of him would get better. But it does not. Each day it gets more grotesque. What will Dorian Gray do to escape this madness? In my opinion, this books is a marvelous piece of art. When I read this book I couldn’t do anything else until I finished it. The story is engaging, has a certain dark and supernatural Gothic period feeling. All in all, this story of Dorian Gray shows people what most people seek more in life – beauty, fame and materialism. But within the lines you can see a lot of beautiful and strong lines about our lives, strong ideas and quotes.