picture dorian gray review

The Picture of Dorian Gray: Rapid-Fire Thoughts on the Characters

I had heard so many good things about The Picture of Dorian Gray, I couldn’t wait to read it. When I finally started reading it, I realized two things: 1) I loved it, and 2) It’s basically a story about a crappy person making poor life decisions. Since I am sum up the book so eloquently (this is sarcasm), I thought I’d give you a brief description of the main characters so you’ll be prepared if you ever read it. Or, if you’ve already read it, it will serve as an excellent refresher. You’re welcome.

beauty, peer pressure, and self-obsession

Basil Hallward, the painter: He’s a little odd in his obsession of Dorian Gray, and as a result I spent a lot time wondering whether or not he was gay, which I don’t think is what Oscar Wilde was going for (or maybe he was…?). But despite his weird obsession, he is the only decent character in this book. So if you read this one, make sure you like him. View Spoiler »

Lord Henry Wotton, the douche: Basically I hated him from the beginning. He’s a toxic person who feels like he has to drag everyone else down into the cesspool where he wallows. He’s also quite obsessed with Dorian Gray, so I naturally had to wonder if Lord Henry was also gay. But again, but perhaps Oscar Wilde wanted me to think more sophisticated thoughts than wonder about their sexuality.

Dorian Gray, the weak-ass man: Dorian Gray is your quintessential insecure person who doesn’t have enough cajones to make his own decisions about his life. Instead, he feeds off the opinions of others (like the douche, Lord Henry) and becomes a pathetic excuse for a human. The fun in this book is hating Dorian Gray and rolling your eyes at his awful decision making. Someone needs to find a mother and tell her to slap that boy upside his head. View Spoiler »

I LOVED this book and watching the men crumble in their hedonism. It was deliciously awful. This is a fantastic classic and reads like modern genre-fiction.
If you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor and read it (…then we can pretend to be really sophisticated and have conversations about classic literature). 

Isn’t it fun to read wicked people do awful things sometimes? What’s the last book you read that had a wonderfully awful character?

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  1. He was absolutely going for the characters being gay, or at least Basil, from what I understand. Apparently a lot of the homosexuality was removed from the book when it was published. Don’t quote me on these things though, it’s just kind of what I’ve read/heard. And oddly enough, I am reading a Dorian Gray inspired story/kind of retelling right now (Creatures of Will & Temper)! In the foreword, the author happened to talk some about this. But yes, Basil is the only decent person in the book lol. I loved Henry though just because he had all the quotes that were really thought-provoking!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight just posted Book Review: I Heart Robot by Suzanne van RooyenMy Profile

    1. Well that’s good to know! I really loved all the characters of this one – they all were quite multi-dimensional. Definitely fun to read about. Thanks for chiming in with that bit of info 😀