The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde
As a young man new to the world Dorian Gray is loved and admired by Basil Hallward a artist who paints a large portrait of him. In part for his outward beauty but also for his incense. As Dorian models for this portrait he meets Lord Henry. Lord Henry also falls for this young mans beauty and begins to share with him his life view. A view that centers around the outward beauty and indulgence. Tell Dorian how lucky he is to be young and still beautiful. He also tells him that he should enjoy this time as it will pass. He will age and lose his beauty. As the portrait is done Dorian is jealous of the beauty it holds that will not fade. In a fit of self loathing Dorian wishes he could trade places with the painting. That it would age and wear the signs of life and that he would ever be young and beautiful.
Okay 0 out of 10 may sound harsh but here me out. When this was first published it had a very bad back lash and was removed from stands. At that time it was because of some homoerotic references. Sense that time the book was rewritten and the homoerotic references have been down played and additional text was added, adding more background story to the characters. Making the homoerotic part of the book every small and only hinted at. So don't go and say I rated this book poorly because of this, it is hardly a thing in the book anymore. I rated it badly because it is a bad book. The author did a fine job of building up the story and the characters but to no avail. It is simply a laundry list of all the bad things Dorian ever did. You could try and argue that Dorian is bad because of society or because of his friends. This just isn't true. Everything that happens to Dorian is just what Dorian wants to happen. He is a man that in the whole book gets everything he wants even in the end. He indulges in ever whim he has. One could try and argue that this book is a life lesson about how dangerous it is to live a life of indulgence. I would say this is a stretch at best. I would say this because at no time dose Dorian “indulge” in anything good. His every whim is selfish and self serving. If you believe in evil, Dorian would be the embodiment of it. I have a hard time believe that any person could be this selfish and if they were they would never change there character from reading this book. I can't see this book bettering anyone from reading it. As for entertainment value, I would relate it to swimming in a cesspool. Some may enjoy it but I wouldn't understand why.