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Monday, August 8, 2016

The Picture of Dorian Gray Review

The Picture of Dorian Gray 

Written by: Oscar Wilde
Number of pages: 216

Average Rating: 4.04/5 stars
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Published in June 1890
Read in July 2016

Summary according to Goodreads

Dorian Gray, a handsome and narcissistic young man, lives thoughtlessly for his own pleasure - an attitude encouraged by the company he keeps. One day, after having his portrait painted, Dorian makes a frivolous Faustian wish: that he should always remain as young and beautiful as he is in that painting, while the portrait grows old in his stead.

The wish comes true, and Dorian soon finds that none of his wicked actions have visible consequences. Realizing that he will appear fresh and unspoiled no matter what kind of life he lives, Dorian becomes increasingly corrupt, unchecked by public opinion. Only the portrait grows degenerate and ugly, a powerful symbol of Dorian’s internal ruin.

My Thoughts

“They say he has sold himself to the devil for a pretty face."

This is a classic novel that I have had on my shelf for a long time, having first heard about it in my tenth grade English class. I cannot recall reading other gothic novels, so this was a very interesting experience for me! I did enjoy the genre, and will be picking up more darker plot novels. 

I really enjoyed the depth into the human soul, how much power vanity has over us, and the importance of consequences. There was so much psychology buried within this novel, and it helped me to connect so much more to Dorian and the plot. 

There were many quotable lines in this novel, but one of my favourites is as follows; “You told me you had destroyed it.” “I was wrong. It has destroyed me.” When Dorian first discovered the magic behind the portrait, he took advantage of it because it had allowed him to continue his youthful appearance. This quote soon followed the turning point in the novel, and was a strong realization from Dorian - but not necessarily in a positive way.

One of the biggest reasons that I could not rate this novel higher was because of how many times when the plot dragged. It was very easy for me to pick up this novel and put it down after every chapter, not feeling the need to keep reading. I did not get completely engrossed in this novel until the end, where everything started to get more action-packed and captivating.

Another issue that I had with this novel was the passage of time. Reading in between the chapters I was sure that no more than a few days had passed, but it had actually been weeks.This made it a lot more difficult for me to read, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been more descriptive. 

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