A review by joyfayrweather
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This book is supposed to be a tale about modern philosophies and ideals, and how Dorian Gray challenges that. However, I found Dorian and Lord Henry infuriating. Lord Henry's view on how we should treat other people is baffling, and it is saddening to think that people actually believe this. Henry's view on the world is only one a super rich person could enjoy, not everyone can live into every pleasure in their life. Henry's views destroy Dorian (which I know, is the point), but both end up being terrible human-beings. I think it would be interesting to retell this novel from Basil's POV, and how he sees the spiraling of his best friend. 
My least favorite parts are the blatant racism and sexism of the characters. Women simultaneously don't have minds, however they think too hard for their own good. Characters must be described by whatever racial stereotypes instead of just being characters. And yes, while I understand it's a product of its time, I still find it infuriating. 
All in all, I appreciated the different mode of thinking presented in this book, and it taught me a lesson about morality and the want for youth. However, I find the characters (except for Basil) annoying, and some of the -isms also annoying. 

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