The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

By Oscar Wilde
 
I love Oscar Wilde! I grew up listening to his fairy tales, my favorites being The Happy Prince and The Nightingale and the Rose. Somewhere along the line I transferred from Wilde’s fairy tales to his comedic plays. I’ll bet I read The Importance of Being Ernest and A Woman of No Importance at least 3 times each when I was in college. What funny stories!!

So where on earth did The Picture of Dorian Gray come from? As Oscar Wilde’s only published novel, Dorian Gray comes out of his pocket as something very different from his other popular works. From the time its first copies rolled off the press Wilde was highly criticized for the immoral and scandalous nature of the book. I, on the other hand, found the book to be a wonderful description of the dangers and realities of vanity. I have seen, in my own life, how vanity can literally destroy the life of those who ‘sell their soul’ for beauty and the ‘satisfaction of the senses’. Wilde’s illustrations rang out loud and clear for me to remember what is and is not important in life.

I suppose I liked The Picture of Dorian Gray before I read the first word; it was, after all, written by Oscar Wilde! But now, looking back on the novel I realize that the things I liked about the book were different from the things I liked about the plays and the fairytales. The book was deep and thought provoking and oh so true. The plays made me laugh, the fairytales made me cry. I suppose vanity is a vice we are all faced with to one degree or another but to what level we may not know until we are too late to change.

Historical Value - 1
Emotional Value -3
Entertainment Value -4
Personal Character Value -4
Age Recommendation: Mature Teen, Adult

Quotes: (Keep in mind that Wilde is the Devil’s Advocate, these quotes are often dead on wrong, which was his purpose for including them in the story.)

“Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
“I am too fond of reading books to care to write them.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
The basis of optimism is sheer terror.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
The one charm of the past is that it is the past.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture Of Dorian Gray
 
One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
 
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible....”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
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