Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Picture of Dorian Gray

Just read the book, Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. It’s pretty different from the plays that I’ve read of his.

I’ve been wanting to get hold of this for a long time as the only Novel by Oscar Wilde, and finally found the e-book on Project Gutenberg at http://www.gutenberg.org/. There are many other famous books which can be downloaded from here.

One quote that came to my mind while reading this book was “Vanity is my favourite sin” from the famous movie the Devil’s Advocate.

Made me think about how we sometimes judge someone by their external appearance, before really getting to know them. Even in movies you always see ‘good looking’ good guys and ‘ugly’ bad guys.

What can you really say if someone looks beautiful? They were lucky enough to be born that way. Says nothing about the personality, and I believe what really counts is what you do with your life (your talents) rather than what you were born with.

After years of wanting to look prettier, I've finally come to the stage where I can honestly say that I like the way I look. I know I'm not 'drop dead gorgeous', but then there's a lot more to life than that! I have nothing against externally 'beautiful people' (after all I do have a lot of friends who are 'beautiful' too), all I'm saying is that just because you're not born beautiful, that's not the end of the world. That we should learn to love our selves no matter what we look like.

Oops, I went out of the topic of the book for a bit any way a summary as I see is included below. (this could be intepreted in many ways)

Spoiler warning
This book is about Dorian Gray, a handsome young man, who sees a portrait of himself and wishes that he could stay as young and handsome forever.

“...I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June.... If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!”

Then his wish does come true… He sells his soul to the devil and the portrait is marred because of his many sins, becoming old and disfigured, while Dorian Gray himself remains young and perfect.

In the end, Dorian decides to kill his sins and his past by destroying the portrait, but in doing so he kills himself instead.

"When they entered, they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was."


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