Posted by : Halima Khait Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, is a little difficult for me to review because I don't want to give too much away. But if I could sum it up in a couple of words, I'd say it's about the effects of living a life of vanity.

See, in his young adulthood, Dorian Gray was convinced to pose for a portrait by his artist friend. After seeing the painting, Gray said he'd love to stay as handsome and innocent as he was portrayed, while all the effects of life would mar the rendition of him. And so it was, Gray went through life doing whatever he pleased and never dealt with any negative consequences because people were too enamored by his unchanging beauty to suspect him of wrongdoing. As for the painting, it became more and more grotesque with every sin Gray committed, but was never questioned because it was hidden in the attic.

That's all I'm going to give on the plot because as I said earlier, I don't want to give too much away. Plus, I want to talk about the real reasons I enjoyed this book.

1) The imagination it took to create this book. Although the conclusion left me wanting more - it felt forced - the premise was realistic. Wilde took what could happen if the wishes of those who went back to old pictures of themselves and longed to be like they were in younger years and ran with it.

Wilde created characters you could connect with, or not. There were numerous times in this novel where I read something Gray did and found myself thinking "I can not believe this dude," like he was someone I know in real life lol Other times, I would question what I would do if I had Gray's opportunities.

2) The philosophies and the language and methods used to convey them. Most of the profound theories Wilde wanted to impart were done through Lord Henry, the character who had the most influence on Gray being led through life by pleasure. Some of those include:

"He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time." As someone who hates being late and as a result, feels like a lot of my life is spent rushing instead of enjoying small things, I can stand behind this statement.

And, "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." You need only read my other blog posts to know I strongly agree with this statement.

Overall, this novel just made me think. And so, although I didn't love it enough for it to make my Reading Room page, it's definitely a good read.

Since finishing this novel, I've moved on to reading The Science of Breath by Yogi Ramacharaka. But I won't be reviewing it because, well really how do you review an instructional, lifestyle book? It just seems blasphemous lol

So until next time...

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