There are a lot of classic books that center around topics that are still relevant in todays society and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is definitely one of them. The complete book was first published in a monthly magazine in July 1890 and is the only novel written by Oscar Wilde.
The story of the book settles in Victorian era England and tells about the artist Basil Hallward who finds his ultimate muse in the young, unearthly beautiful Dorian Gray. They are accompanied by Lord Henry Wotton.
Lord Henry is the personalization of an hedonistic approach to life and view on the world. By talking about his exorbitant disposition Henry feeds the growing wish in Dorian, that the painted image of him would age instead of him, beacuse under Lord Henry’s influence, beauty rises to the only term in life he thinks is worth pursuing. While Dorians whish comes true and he looks the same, the painting bears all the marks his lifestyle leaves. But the road he takes from there entangles him and leads to him being a person of wrongdoing and cruelty.
Like Dorian Gray, a big part of todays society declares beauty as an important aspect of life. While there is – of course – nothing wrong with seeking beauty and pleasure in life, nowadays society trys to convince you that you need to maximize those at all costs. So did Dorian Gray and his actions became vicious and he steadily became less human on the inside -he kind of sold his soul just to avoid aging.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can also make you commit atrocities. – Voltaire
This novel reminds the reader that there is always a price to pay and questions you about how far you’d go for a shallow wish. And in times where society profits from your self-doubts and leads you to believe that looks are essential to who you are as a person, this novel becomes even more relevant.
So instead of focusing on those superficialities you should think about what kind of a person you want to be, and if your fundamentals are resistant and right. Because in the end it comes down to you being a decent human being -or not.
You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear. – Oscar Wilde “The Picture of Dorian Gray”