Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

There are many images for Dorian Gray. This one happens to be the one on the cover of the copy I got from the library.

This book was......well.....I'm not sure how I feel about this, to be honest. The beginning sent my mind spinning a bit, the middle was slow, and the ending picked up pace and went places I didn't dream of. Three main characters: Basil Hallward an artist, Dorian Gray a young man of around 17 or so who is a subject for Basil's paintings, and Lord Henry (Harry) who is first Basil's friend who then intrigues Dorian with his wild ideas about life, sin, morality, sensations, civilizations etc. I must say that I detest Lord Henry's ideals. Half the time I'm not sure if even he himself believes what he says, but Dorian takes to them like a fly on honey. I wonder what the author's true feelings are. In the forward, he had said himself that there was no moral or immoral writing, just good writing or bad writing. I happen to disagree, but that is what makes me wonder. Another mention, this time through Lord Henry's character is that art does not cause action, that Dorian who said that a book he read poisoned him, was out of his mind for thinking such. Which I disagree with. Art, literature, etc all creates thoughts. Think about something long enough and it becomes an action. One example is of a somewhat popular rock group that has a cult/gang following with very violent tendencies. Two teens in a former town I lived in carried out the most brutal murder of a common friend because they were 'fulfilling the prophesy' that 'someone had to die' which are common threads of lyrics and themes from this so called music group. Is everyone affected by things in the same way? No. Could a rational human being listen to such things and escape its influence? THIS is the big question I believe is posed in this book.

Can a person's actions be hidden from his countenance? And are our actions truly reflected upon our physical as well as in our soul? And if we could see physically the consequence that every action we make has on our souls, would we lead a different life?

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