March 2, 2005

it's tough bein' good lookin'

I have to agree with Amanda on her idea of Oscar Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Gray": I think that is the whole push behind this story, Johanna. How beauty can be self-destructive--an end in itself. As I mentioned, I see a very sad ending for Dorian"

We do see Dorian go through a sort of mutation in the story; he begins as a beautiful, young, and naive boy and by the end, he has become a corpse. Death by beauty.

As discussed in class the other day, there is also quite a lot of 'flowery wording.' I say flowery not as a joke on the symbolism of flowers in the book, but because Wilde has a tendency to be very wordy when setting up a scene for the reader.

"The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn." page 1, line 1.

From the beginning, Wilde gives us a beautiful summer setting that you could imagine reserved for Zeus and Arhrodite.

Flowers were big in Wilde's book and for lack of a better phrase, they represented "the destruction of one's soul." Well put Anne. Normally, unless you have severe seasonal allergies, the thought of a flower brings a smile to your face, right? Well, probably not after reading this book.

Flowers were symbolic for Basil and Sybil's deaths and for the jealousy that Henry had for Basil.

The entire tone of the book was set in the first paragraph. Peaceful, warm, summer day. Happy times. But by the end of the book when we see Dorian's transformation, the tone of the book is gray and stale.

Really, if we look around us, we can see beauty destroying people everyday. With so called reality television shows, beauty magazines, health and fitness amgazines, Hollywood, opportunities for plastic surgeries, etc. it is a miracle there are ugly, happy people in the world. :) Just kidding. I just find it sick that people are willing to waste thousands of dollars on new faces, boobs, calf implants, etc. because they are unhappy with what they have. There is so much pressure on young people to be the impossible - perfect. It must have been tough for Dorian Gray to be so beautiful...surely I could never do it...or could I?...thousand $ here, thousand $ there...

Posted by MelissaTrecaso at March 2, 2005 7:30 PM