Pages: 77 / 221; 35%
The Reason for the Reaping: The first official installment of “I read this before and completely forgot what happens.” It’s time to face the page of no return for the second time.
As I Lay Summarizing: Lord Henry says “Youth is the only thing that matters.” Basil Hallward paints his masterpiece, a picture of a young and good-looking Dorian Gray. Dorian says “omg I wish I were always that young and good-looking.” Annnnd commence a case study of rousing philosophical concepts such as beauty versus intellect, art versus reality, etc. I think a lot of us know the major plot points in this novel, but I’ll keep my no-spoilers promise.
The Line That Killed Me: “There was something terribly enthralling in the exercise of influence. No other activity was like it. To project one’s soul into some gracious form, and let it tarry there for a moment; to hear one’s own intellectual views echoed back to one with all the added music of passion and youth” (38). Death by obscene vanity.
Best Character: Lord Henry
Why [As] You Like It: Oscar Wilde is a damn smart man, especially in his dialogue. He is able to deliver opinions of various philosophical dilemmas in charming and understandable ways. No furrowing your brows and going “???” even as you follow conversations of beauty versus intellect, art versus reality, etc. Plus, Lord Henry aka the Devil’s best advocate keeps the story lively and (dare I say it?) fun. In true Oscar Wilde fashion, the characters are perfectly over-the-top and the language is lovely and atmospheric. Wilde’s version of late Victorian London is as glamorous as you better be are probably thinking.
Why I’m Gone, Girl: I honestly can’t think of a reason not to. The novel is accessible, the characters are interesting, the plot is not stale.. Wilde is owning this story. As this is his only novel, I’m not surprised. Am I not trying hard enough?
Last Line, Last Chance: “‘..wife in Shakespeare’s plays? Lips that Shakespeare…'”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom? Feel smart, explore philosophical questions, all while immersed in glamorous Victorian London? Nothing wrong with this Picture. Oscar Wilde can talk the talk (write the write?). The page has been turned, x2.