The Picture of Dorian Gray

I love it when I underestimate the quality of a book. Needless to say, that’s exactly what I did with Mr. Wilde’s writing, even after a recommendation from a best friend. I’ve come to terms that many of you reading this may not get around to the books I post about. No big deal. And those of you who have won’t mind if I spoil the ending. I’m going to do it just this once anyway.

The story starts off with Mr. Basil Hallward, a very whimsical and introspective creature in my mind. Mr. Hallward is a painter, and his favourite subject as of late is the young Dorian Gray. Dorian is his favourite not only in the sense of art, but in personality, innocence and society as well. Hallward has a sociable acquaintence, Lord Henry who becomes interested in Dorian, too.

Early on, the audience discovers that Lord Henry is completely and utterly full of hot air, and occasionally shares some clever insight on topics from a different perspective. During Dorian and Lord Henry’s first meeting, Hallward creates is greatest masterpiece to date, a portrait of Dorian. Despite Hallward’s best efforts, Dorian soon becomes corrupted by Lord Henry. All three of them are struck by the beauty of the painter’s latest work, which influences Dorian’s growing infatuation with youth and beauty, society and self-importance.

“Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it. You will feel it terribly.” – Lord Henry

Before Mr. Gray becomes completely consumed with himself, he falls in love with a brilliant, young actress, Sibyl Vane. Once he approaches her and proposes, Sibyl realizes how fake her world of scenes and stories really is. The same night she experiences this epiphany, Hallward and Lord Henry join Dorian at the theatre, only to watch a dreadful performance. Dorian is horribly embarrassed and breaks his engagement with Sibyl. She is heartbroken and takes her life that very night.

Throughout the story, Basil’s infamous portrait of Dorian Gray bears the ugliness of Dorian’s soul. After his life of vanity, rumours and even murder, Hallward’s canvas becomes the home of Dorian’s deception, anger, and shallow actions. A marvelous tale, full of extraordinary and humourous quotes, with a sobering finish. I’m considering a post on quotations alone. Could be fun. Excellent read. Go find out for yourself. Share your opinions!

Oh, I just wanted to throw this in there. I almost considered the title, ‘Girls Gone Wilde’ but I figured it didn’t relate. Maybe next time.