book review

Book Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray - by Oscar Wilde

5:48 PM


Summary from goodreads:
Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray sells his soul in exchange for eternal youth and beauty. Under the influence of Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, where he is able to indulge his desires while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only Dorian's picture bears the traces of his decadence. A knowing account of a secret life and an analysis of the darker side of late Victorian society. The Picture of Dorian Gray offers a disturbing portrait of an individual coming face to face with the reality of his soul.

Rating: 4.8/5

The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde in third person, is a masterfully executed book that is filled with extremely quotable and thought provoking lines. The general plot is as follows: a youthful, beautiful, and initially innocent young man has a portrait of himself painted by a fascinated artist. The story gradually gets darker after the main character, Dorian Gray, commits a few crimes (if not legally, then morally), and his nature is tampered with by a man captivated by the idea of psychology.

If a person is not used to reading stories written by Oscar Wilde, there is no doubt that their mind will be blown away more than once the first time around. Despite the complex storyline and the heavy nature of the book, the writing style in The Picture of Dorian Gray was surprisingly easy to understand. While reading this particular novel, it is likely the reader will question how it was possible for a person to construct such intriguing thoughts and manage to put them in the form of words; but not just words, rather in the form of an entire story with varying characters each with their own distinct personality and individual storyline. Another thought regarding Wilde’s writing is that there is no plausible way his personal life is not in some way reflected in his writing. His writing style is so unique and distinct and paired with such a fascinating but grim storyline that it would be near impossible to not have a piece of the writer portrayed in some aspect of the novel.

Aside from the writing style, the story was generated very skillfully. The plot moved at a perfect pace and the characters’ personalities were distinct. There were also different levels of character development which keeps the readers entertained. The main character’s personality for example, drastically changes as the story plays out and his development is reflected in his actions. In contrast, the side characters remained the same from beginning to end. An interesting observation about The Picture of Dorian Gray is that even though there were only three recurring characters, it was filled with a great deal of emotion as well as logic. The fact that both the emotional and logical aspects were evenly balanced throughout the plot was truly fascinating. And even more impressive than that, it made sense. In fact, the story as a whole deserve every single award.

Anyone who appreciates the finer things in life will probably enjoy The Picture of Dorian Gray (unless you have an acute radar for pretentiousness and cannot tolerate it whatsoever).

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