The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Published on 29 January 2024 at 19:03

Title: The Picture Of Dorian Gray 

Author: Oscar Wilde

Pages: 252

Overall Rating: 9/10 

Oscar Wild was a man who to some degree could be said to have undergone his own tragic downfall in his life. From being publicly shamed for his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas that he began in 1891 which resulted in him being sentenced to 2 years of hard labour. To him living in poverty in France and Italy for the last years of his life. The Picture Of Dorian Gray being his only novel makes it special in its own right. Yet there is much more to this book...


We explore the characters of Basil, Lord Henry and Dorian Gray. Dorian becomes obsessed with his own image and beauty as a consequence of Lord Henry's manipulation. It becomes understood that Dorian sold his soul to the Devil in order to retain his physical and moral beauty. The consequences of his wishes are highly detrimental and if looking at the novel as a tragedy is his hamartia (fatal flaw) that triggers his downfall. 


There is mountains of philosophy in this novel with Wilde's own personal philosophy of aestheticism shining through into the book.  It is important to note that the book was originally published in 1890 where it received criticisms for being ''immoral'' to which Wilde responded by creating the revised version that was published in 1891 that added 'The Preface', 6 new chapters and even the character of Sibyl Vane's brother, James. Wilde states in his preface that we ought not read too far into the words on the page and that no book is ''immoral'' just well written or poorly written. This makes it perfect for those beginning to introduce themselves to classic literature as there is not much that Wilde doesn't make explicitly clear. Even his undertone of homosexuality is still quite clear for a modern readership. 


The book is comical and heart-breaking. It brings to light the pain of suppressing the truth and the impacts of external influences as well as the dangers of ignorance. I personally read 3/4 of the book in one day it was such a fun book and yes, I cried. And these are all reasons why it has been awarded the spot of book of the month for February 2024.

Written by M.