The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde | Review

Review: A Book I Hated Than Appreciated

My thirteen-year-old brother studying in Paris has similar testimonies to Victorian London, the main character in Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece work. One summer, while we were having an evening feast, he started complaining as to why people have to grow old. He told us how all along he has been imagining that death and misfortune befall the elderly in society. As a result, he would have wished to remain young, elegant, and energetic for the rest of his life. His main argument was that the youthful lifestyle is a fan, and an individual feels motivated. He argued that attaining old age would prompt him to lose his youthful and young outlook, a character he most treasures. He would no longer enjoy the adventure and jovial moments with peers, and that would make life so boring. Getting old, to him, meant assuming the indispensable responsibilities of taking care of young ones as a parent. These thoughts disturbed him every day. After listening to him, I gained a sense of Wilde’s masterpiece literature featuring Victoria London. London was a character who never wanted to attain old age. At first, it felt as if Oscar Wilde’s book was the most boring book I ever read.

As part of the literary appreciation class, all students had to read Wilde’s book during the summer session. I had essentially developed a negative attitude towards the book after reading the introduction. I had prior exploration of the author’s background, which was disheartening. From the outlook of the preface, it became clear to me that the book had nothing but presented an immoral tale. Knowledge gained and information made me develop personal hatred for the author and, therefore, his literary work.

Because it was my obligation to read Wilde’s book as mandated for summer classes, I explored it aided by my superb leadership skills. The book is about the life of Victoria London, a young who regrets that he will get old after his experience. Despite his wish not to get old, London’s is portrait would. While reading Wildes’ novel, I realized that the book precisely suggests tenets of the author’s philosophy of art. Focused on a school of thought and ideology called aestheticism; he believed that art has an intrinsic value. Intrinsic value implies that art is beautiful and therefore has credibility. Based on this, art should not serve any other purpose whether moral or political (Wilde 7).

Another motivation to read the book was after learning the characters of Lord Henry in Wilde’s book. I found him to be a person possessed of evil, fascinating, dangerous, and delightful concepts. He makes the book interesting because he is a charming talker and well established in knowledge making him a luminous intellect. Because of his seductive and tactful approach to issues, Dorian can do no other thing but completely fall under his spell. I learned that Lord Henry’s theories are fundamental because they aim at shocking and intentionally trying to change known, hypothetical, or traditional ideologies of realism. I would not hastate to suggest that people read this book for purposes of gaining transformative ideas, fundamentally established by Lord Henry. It would be meaningless for and individual to judge a book by its surface meaning because the author relies on his artistic power to unveil critical issues in society. Although this character is a self-proclaimed hedonist who proposes the equitable pursuit of both moral and immoral engagement, he leads a rather demure life. In his daily activities, he avoids distasteful behavior.

Works Cited
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. City of Westminster, London: Penguin Books, 2010. Print.

You Might Also Like