Do you make New Year’s resolutions? These are promises we make to ourselves about how we are going to make positive changes in the coming year.
Wouldn’t it be great if together we all made a New Year’s Resolution to read more? Thankfully, to help us get started we have some inspiration from More Than English student Zvonimir (16 – Croatia). Here’s his review of a book he enjoyed:
Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is a short novel set in London in the 19th century. The story is based on a simple wish made by a young man named Dorian Gray.
Wilde starts off by introducing us to a painter, Basil Hallward. Basil is fascinated by Dorian’s beauty, so he paints a portrait of him. Upon seeing the portrait, Dorian is reminded of his beauty and saddened by the idea of getting old and ugly, so he wishes that the painting ages – instead of him. Dorian continues with his life and decides to marry an actress. However, things don’t work out perfectly and Dorian ends up leaving her. Soon after that, he notices a change in his portrait and realizes that his wish had come true. Dorian’s behavior is heavily influenced by a book that Basil’s friend, Lord Henry, gave him. Henry believes that pleasure is the only thing a person should pursue in their life. Dorian finds pleasure in his good looks, but his wish doesn’t come without any costs.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in reading a short and fun novel. It talks about a lot of topics, of which I find friendship the most important one. What I’ve found particularly interesting about this book is that it can be interpreted in many ways – from one aspect it’s a simple story about a man who lost touch with his morals, while from another aspect it’s a novel criticizing the society’s focus on the outside appearance. I like the way Oscar Wilde says it, emphasizing the reader’s thoughts over the novel itself: “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.”
Where can I buy this book?
Benefits of reading
- It is relaxing and enjoyable
- Helps us improve our concentration and ability to focus
- Helps us think creatively
- Helps us develop empathy (understanding of other people)
- Has a transformational effect on our vocabulary (in our first language and in foreign languages)