books i read recently...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Portrait of Dorian Gray .

- Oscar Wilde

This book has to be rated as one of the best books i ever read . Its the only novel length story written by Oscar Wilde. heez regarded as one of the great aneasthetists... i dont have a clear idea what that actually means but , his books have always been delightful to read ... esp his stories the most celebrated ones being " The happy prince " , " The selfish giant " and the nightingale and the rose goes the list.

its generally considered that the name of oscar wilde is associated with decadence , partly because of his avante garde and flamboyant lifestyle . in the later stages of his life he apparently fell into bad company and was charged with some scandal and lead a pathetic life which finally led to his end .

dorian gray is a seventeen year old of noble household who's very popular for his looks , he is the central character around whom the whole story revolves . dorian in his early days is very pure at heart and very youthful . he is rather innocent about ways of life and thus attracts anyone coming into contact with him . one of his friends is by name Basil , who is a very successful painter and takes delight in company of dorain gray and paints his portraits .

another character is lord Henry wotton . he is a true blue cynic who always looks at the negative points in life and talks about everyones faults and retorts at everything said . his dialougues are derisive and on most accounts derogatory .
but his dialougues area such that we can find humor in his mockery . oscar wilde has written some very famous dialouges through henry wottons speech .

few famous one s been " its good to discover america and would have been better not to have discovered it "
" women are just a decorative sex , thay actually have nothing to say. they only say it beautifully . they represent the triumph of matter over mind just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals " ....

and ,many more ...

Dorian is impressed in the very first meeting with henry wotton and is drawn in his company just because of the way henry speaks . he frequents theatre and luncheons with him and slowly Henry grows over Dorian's mind and is influenced in his decisions by him in every way .
and henry praises dorian for his charming looks and they talk while basil is painting dorian 's portrait.

then dorian says that it would be wonderful if the portrait is affected by the changes in his age and instead of him he portrait becomes old gradually .

dorian the falls in love with one girl who is a theatre artist , and one day when he arranges for basil and Henry to see her play , and that particular day she plays her part miserably and
Dorian is disgusted by her and because of this the girl commits suicide.
but because of henry's counsel he becomes heartless and proceeds with his life as if nothing happened .
the next day he discovers that there are few changes in the appearances in his portrait, and he gradually realise that what he said just as a whimsical fancy has actually turned true and its the portrait thats suffering the changes for his deeds.

due to this he becomes more carefree and indulges in all forms of luxuries and vaguearies. he is addicted to all concivable vices and slowly becomes infamous because of his practices and that never seems to show any signs of aging. Then one unfortunate day he even murders his close friend Basil .
then slowly his conscience gets the better of him and he loses his peace of mins and gradually becomes lonely and henry wotton remains his only true friend and finally one day when he's unable to bear the looks of the portriat he decides to destroy it and the minute he stabs it he falls dead .the servatns of the house find an ugly man full of wrinkles over his face and gruesome to look at , when they check his rings they discover its their master - Dorian gray !

the story shows how when men fall into bad company , can ruin their lives and how easily one is influenced by evil company . it also shows the decadence of a man's life when he becomes a slave of the senses and loses judgement of good and bad. how one must never want someone else to bear the consequences of his actions , that one in the end has to reap the result of his misdeeds.

more than the actual story its what is more appealing is the writing style of oscar wilde which is radcally different to the ones i have read till now , and his comments about things in general. being written in early 1900's in britain the style is a little archaic and a bit difficult to read but once u get used to it it's a breeze .