“The Picture of Dorian Gray” Student Reviews 2009

The following are reviews by COHS students of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by  Oscar Wilde.

Genre: Faustian theme, horror gothic fiction

Pages: 235

Reviewer: Charmaine M.

Dorian Gray was this man of whom everyone liked so much for his beauty, although rather careless but for himself. He introduces homosexuality, as well as hendonism, when lord Henry shows him this new world at which is a philosophy of ultimate pleasure of humanity. Dorian thought this was his beauty. His friend Basil, whom ought to think that it was the greatest art he has ever made, painted Dorian his own portrait. As Dorian hopes to look beautiful all his life, he decides he wanted to just live long life and let the painting age instead. This then happens, and his portrait reveals how evil he is and how old he is. Dorian then gets desparate and blackmails a friend, kills his friend, and at last, his own portrait. After stabbing the portrait, he ends up destroyed instead.

I think this book opened me up to a lot of things, especially philosophy. I think it’s a great book, but I suggest that if given this to another person, it is highly recommended that they are mature enough. It is an amazing mystery and truth behind everything.

1. The author’s purpose in writing this book is introducing a very controversial topic: hendonism, horror-gothic, and fautism. These basically state a person’s philosophy.

2. The theme and Thesis kind of state homosexuality, and double life.

3. The author supports its thesis and theme by using Dorian, the main character, as the big issue. Everyone liked him so much, that even his good friend, Basil, thinks he is so beautiful. Lord Henry also supports the thesis and introduces hendonism to him. The double life is supported by Dorian wanting the portrait to age rather than himself, for his beauty is so important to him, soon taking a double life.

Ex. Of quotes:

“But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.”
– Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray Ch. 1

“Some day you will look at your friend, and he will seem to you to be a little out of drawing, or you won’t like his tone of colour, or something.”
– Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray Ch. 1

4. The main issue of this book is a person taking double life, because the main character is “hendonistic”, and he believes his beauty us way important than anything else. When he got sick of looking at his real  ugly self, he decided to stab his painting and he ends up dying himself, as the portrait ascends back to its original form.


About Victoria Waddle

I'm a high school librarian, formerly an English teacher. I love to read and my mission is to connect people with the right books. To that end, I read widely--from the hi-lo for reluctant high school readers to the literary adult novel for the bibliophile.
This entry was posted in Classic Fiction, Fiction, Horror/Mystery/Suspense. Bookmark the permalink.

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