Reviving the classics: The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 out of 5 stars

‘There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.’[1]

Written by Oscar Wilde in the preface to his famous book The Picture of Dorian Grey, this statement can be used to sum up the aesthetic, or art for art’s sake movement, that Wilde was a crucial member. The movement was based on the belief that art should be free from didactic, moral or political function. 

This novel is a fascinating account of the transformation. The most famous theme of the ‘magical’ portrait that ages instead of the man portrayed is just one of the changes described in this work. What I found genuinely captivating is Dorian’s transformation. At the beginning of the novel, he is not only young and beautiful but also perfectly innocent. Throughout the book, this is slowly altered. The demoralising influence of Lord Henry and some dubious literature he lent to Dorian caused his downfall until he became immoral, cruel and manipulating.

But, like Wide himself said, the book is written in beautiful language, making this fascinating story even more exciting. Even if it is not moral or correct.


[1] Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008),  p. 3

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