The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This book is probably one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. But it confuses me at the same time. Why?

I don’t like the characters, at all actually, but yet, I’m so interested in them. Basil Hallward, the painter is probably the most likeable person in this book, and yet, I hate it when he talks about Dorian like he’s the purpose of life. I don’t like Dorian Gray because he just seems so full of himself I can’t even handle him. And Lord Henry Wotton, what a douche. But it’s like so interesting to read about these characters, because the author himself, Oscar Wilde said that these three characters are three sides of Wilde himself: “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks of me: Dorian what I would like to be - in other ages, perhaps.”

I think that mostly the book is about shallowness, vanity, casual cruelty and hedonistic selfishness. Basil Hallward is an artist who after painting a picture of Dorian Gray becomes obsessed with him because of his beauty (There’s been a lot of discussion around the topic, because some people believe that Basil is homosexual and others think he’s just got this love for the object of Dorian). Dorian then meets Basil’s friend, Lord Henry, and becomes enthralled with Lord Henry’s world view, which is a form of extreme hedonism that posits the only worthwhile life is one spent pursuing beauty and satisfaction for the senses.

I loved the book, I had seen the movie and I liked the whole theme of the film. It was special somehow, and the language, the words, the phrases that Oscar Wilde uses in this book is beautiful. I want to read more of his books in the future, just to read his words. This is writing at its best, and I love it, love it, love it, love it.


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