Monday, March 4, 2013
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Dorian Gray, an incredibly handsome Londoner, befriends painter Basil Howard and sits on multiple occasions for his portrait, to the artist's delight. There is one portrait, however, that seems to showcase Dorian's good looks and charm to perfection. Cajoled by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian decides to keep the painting after realizing his youth and beauty will not last forever. In a moment of distress, Dorian wishes he could stay young and pretty while his portrait grows old in his stead.
As part of my New Year's resolution to read more classics, I picked up what looked like a short, easy read and a story that I'd known the basic premise of for quite some time. I was pleasantly surprised. There were a few parts that lagged, mainly because Oscar Wilde felt the need to wax poetic about his own beliefs regarding youth and beauty. Other than that, however, the story kept moving and took a few turns I wasn't prepared for. Wilde really looked in depth at what could happen to a man who values his looks and youth above all else. This is a great character study and I loved the lengths Wilde went to in order to fully develop his idea.
4 out of 5 stars. If you're looking for a classic to boost your repertoire, this is a good one!