The Picture of Dorian Gray

August 25, 20202 min read

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This novel had an immediate impact on me, and after reading through the introduction I was entranced by the themes in the book I was going to read.

There was a battle that Wilde himself was fighting with the novel, and in a way it seems almost too surreal given the circumstances surrounding his life around 1890 that tinge the story in a dream like way. The blur between reality and fiction seems to become too grey, with Wilde arguably - and unknowingly - putting too much of himself in the work. However, to me that is what makes this so captivating. You can see the power and influence permeate through characters in the novel and the masking of the conscious. The actual painting that Basil Howard made for Dorian is a central tenet in the story encapsulating his Faustian pact to stay forever youthful (and thus blinded in vain, and ever drinking the sweet nectar of boyhood - to the extent that is unnatural and sickening). It is an interesting premise that youth’s power is in its transience, and the fact that Dorian Gray never grows up means he is stuck in a fantasy world of hedonism and solipsism. As a whole one can see the decline of the Victorian era and the entrenching feeling of decadence and ennui which can be described most succinctly as the fin de siècle.

In Dorian Gray, we not only see Wilde’s worldly sins, but our own. It’s through this triple reflection in Art (of Dorian, Wilde and ourselves) that captivated me - since it was almost peering into our destiny to see what awaits at the end of a world of pleasure and pain.

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Apurva Shukla

Created by Apurva Shukla.

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