The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
What I love most about Oscar Wilde--and I'm not alone--is his impeccable sense of wit and sarcasm. There is something about his light-hearted writing combined with a sort of philosophical depth that gives me a sensational thrill. This book, in particular, is absolutely overflowing with epigrams and irony.
Dorian Gray is a young man who unlocks the secret to perpetual youth. He travels through life transitioning from naivety, to narcissism, to wickedness, and finally to regret, all the while maintaining a boyish appearance. I suppose the "moral" of the story is that good looks and physical pleasure do not guarantee happiness, but there is much more to be had from this book than a mere life lesson. As the splendid character, Lord Harry, humorously says:
There is no doubt that Genius lasts longer than Beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place.
I have read many of Oscar Wilde's writings and have thoroughly enjoyed them, but I found The Picture of Dorian Gray to be the most complete and entertaining of them all.Go Top