"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
requirements for Humanities Honors Second Semester was to read a novel written in the 19th century or before, I realized that there were no more excuses; I was finally going to read this book.
Now, to actually talk about the book; it is an amazing piece. Wilde wastes no time in getting straight to the point, with the book opening with Basil Hallward socializing with his friend Lord Henry Wotton, as he works on the final touches of his portrait of Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray is an indescribably handsome young fellow whose unparalleled beauty and persona have captivated Basil, and pushed him to produce his ultimate masterpiece; his portrait of Dorian Gray. Once Dorian understands the magnificence of his beauty (thanks to Basil's painting and ill advice from Lord Henry), he makes a horrible wish that eventually comes back to haunt him.
The writing is incredibly poetic, rich with elaborate vocabulary and tantalizing descriptions of moral and social dilemmas that the characters discuss. The characters also go through elaborate transformations; some for the better, some for the worse. The main character, Dorian Gray, is clearly very intelligent, very handsome, very wealthy, and very intuitive; all in all, the picture perfect man that you would want your daughter to marry. His flaws, however, are few but weighty. He is too easily manipulated by the art of beautiful speech, and is a constant slave to his beauty, never escaping the blindness he causes for himself.
Like The House on Mango Street, The Fault in our Stars, and Harry Potter, The Picture of Dorian Gray now joins the extremely exclusive list of books that I plan to read again (in the case of Harry Potter for an eighth time) in the distant future, because while what they made me experience the first reading was incredible, I know they will seem like totally different works when I return to them.
I have a "Note" list on my phone entitled "Books I have read waiting for The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire Book Six)," and while The Picture of Dorian Gray will go onto that list, I think it is the first book that is on there that I will view as more than just a placeholder.
Do yourself a favor and read The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Golden Line: "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it."