Today's discussion is all about The Picture of Dorian Gray!
I have to say, it's not my favourite so far, I definitely prefer Frankenstein and Jekyll and Hyde, and I found this one kind of hard to read.
Dorian Gray is a tale of vanity and selfishness with some cruelty thrown in there too. I thought Wilde's writing was beautiful. I really did. I liked how it started out with the beautiful descriptions of flowers, and was quite funny and then as the book went on it turned quite Gothic Horror-y.
My issue is, that while I was compelled to keep reading to see what happened next and what happened to Dorian, and surprised at some of the twists, I found a lot of the narrative hard to get through due to all the philosophy and everything. Sometimes it went on for pages and I found my attention wandering greatly and I had to fight the urge to skim read and keep reading properly.
None of the characters are all that likeable and I really disliked Lord Henry. He's kind of an a-hole. I mean, Dorian was perfectly fine until he got his claws in to him and started influencing and my GOD could the man prattle on. He kept spouting off his views every five seconds as if everyone should agree with him and follow along behind him, which Dorian did and it was so damn infuriating because I could see what was happening. I mean, Dorian wasn't all that great but he was a good person until Henry came along and started influencing him. He waffled a lot to and it reached a point when I really didn't want to read through all of his opinions. I kinda wanted to punch him. Decoratively. Because that's what women are for according to him. *Eye roll*
Dorian had very tragic beginnings, and he's easily influenced by Henry. I'd watched the Ben Barnes Dorian Gray film and the only thing that stuck with me was one scene when he was sitting in a chair, I think it was, and so I had no clue how he ended up becoming such a bad person. I didn't really he'd be influenced by someone else. The thing with Dorian is, that I said he was a good person...but at the same time...could he really have been that good of a person if he let someone like Henry influence him so much? Doesn't that make him weak? Which arguably makes him not that good of a person, or would have at the time I think!
Speaking of the film, by the way, Ben Barnes was totally wrong, I read the description for Dorian and was like...oh. OH. You don't fit with my mental image! I mean, sure I knew about the painting and everything, but this classic wasn't as spoiled as the previous two because I knew next to nothing about it except for the dodgy painting, so that makes it better in that respect!
I wasn't really sure how to feel Dorian, he was cruel and selfish and many, many other things, once you disappointed him that it was it. Boom. You're out. He systematically lead every person he came in to contact with, to ruin. But at the same time....I disliked Henry way more than I disliked Dorian, which I'm not sure was the point of the book?
So yeah....I enjoyed the book but there was a lot of passages that I found myself slogging through to get to the interesting parts. The writing was beaut though, and I did find myself surprised more than once at the turns the plot took to get to the end!
What did you guys think of Dorian Gray?
Agree with me? Disagree?
Let me know in the comments!
Classics are a bit hit or miss for me, some of them go completely over my head and I have a feeling this is one of those!
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
“Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
“To define is to limit.”
“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”