The Picture of Dorian Grey
This story is about wanting to stay young and not knowing the consequences of such a desire.
Everything starts out in Basil Hallward’s studio. Basil is a painter that is obsessed with Dorian Grey, a young beautiful gentleman that catches everyone’s eye. On this particular day, Basil is accompanied by Lord Henry, one of his close friends. Dorian posses for a portrait and then retires to the garden with Lord Henry. They talk about youth and its great importance, about how it shouldn’t be taken for granted, etc. When the picture is finished, Dorian makes a simple wish. He asks for his picture to grow old instead of him.
Dorian keeps the picture and is fond of his new friend, Lord Henry. They go everywhere together and Henry teaches Dorian new things about life that he never knew existed.
Dorian falls in love with an actress from the lower sides of London. But after she messes up in one of her plays, he despises her and decides never to see her again. He goes home and realizes that his picture has changed, it had grown old. The next day he is told that the actress he used to admire had committed suicide. Dorian fells no sorrow and Lord Henry tells him to take it as if it were just part of a play, a tragic scene that had come to a dramatic end. He realizes that his stupid wish had come true, so he decides to hide the painting so no one else can see it.
As the years go by, people start to hate the once beloved Dorian Grey. Rumors are spread that he is a bad influence and that evil follows him wherever he goes. Many people don’t believe that nonsense, and are still blown away by his ravaging good looks. They can’t believe that such a handsome man can do such terrible things.
Then one night, Basil visits him. They have a chat about the reputation that Dorian is getting on the streets. Basil tells him that such affairs, as he had been known to be a part off, were bad for the soul. Dorian tells him he no longer has a soul, and decides to show him the picture he once had painted of him. The picture had become horrid, old, and had lost all the beauty it once possessed. Basil is amazed and can’t believe his own eyes. Dorian becomes mad at him, he blames him for all that has happened in his life, for he was the one that started the whole thing. Dorian takes a knife and stabs his good friend to death.
The next day he gets rid of the body and of all the evidence that can link him to the murder. Dorian continues his life as if nothing had ever happened.
A couple of days later, he is confronted by James Vayne, the actress’s brother, the one he had sent to her death 18 years before. He wants to kill him for what he had done, but his good looks and his young face save his life.
Now everywhere he goes he is afraid of being killed, until one day he goes hunting with a friend, and they shoot Vayne by mistake. Dorian feels without troubles and decides to make good instead of evil. He goes home and stabs the painting that had caused him all this pain. A chilling cry is heard, and his servants enter the room. They find the picture hanging on the wall, as beautiful as it ever was, and their master lying dead on the floor. He had changed into an old horrid figure and was stabbed to death.
This book was an excellent choice because it had a very interesting way of looking at life. At the beginning I thought it would be the usual story, but then as the plot unwraps, one can’t leave the book for a second. You always want to know what will happen to Dorian Grey.
Grey is an amazing character, at the start he was just blooming like a flower, but under the influence of Lord Henry, he matures and becomes a creature of evil. He realizes his mistakes and wants to change them, but it is too late.
This story shows us that you can’t have everything forever, one has to live life as one is. Dorian tried to stay young forever and it brought him nothing but pain. We can’t make such mistakes because we only live once, we have to take Dorian’s example and make our lives better, and worth living.