Though the book says that Mr. Gray has blue eyes and blonde hair, I think Mr. Barnes is an amiable substitute…
I am currently reading, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde…
I have watched the movie, “Dorian Gray” and almost decided not to finish the book, but I reminded myself that movies are often only inspired by books, they do not necessarily follow them word for word or at all. So I have continued.
Mr. Wilde observes some very interesting points that are still valid today. I share them with you:
“Yes, we are overcharged for everything nowadays. I should fancy that the real tragedy of the poor is that they can afford nothing but self-denial. Beautiful sins, like beautiful things, are the privilege of the rich.”
I say I never truly thought of it that way before I read it. Lord Henry is of course scoffing at the poor, but I admire them greatly and after reading this, think that maybe if I were a little poorer I would have more self-denial. Society tends to admire the rich, but why? Because they have money? Because they have many nice, beautiful things? How do they build their character with no self-denial?
It is true, what the Bible says,
“And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”
“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”
I know now why it seems that we have enough money for necessities, but nothing else and I am glad of it. Moving on:
“Being adored is a nuisance. Women treat us just as humanity treats its gods. They worship us, and are always bothering us to do something for them.” (-Lord Henry)
“I should have said that whatever they ask for they had first given to us, ” murmured the lad, gravely. “They create love in our natures. They have a right to demand it back.”
“That is quite true, Dorian,” cried Hallward.
“Nothing is ever quite true,” said Lord Henry.
“This is,” interrupted Dorian. “You must admit, Harry, that women give to men the very gold of their lives.”
“Possibly,” he sighed, “but they invariably want it back in such very small change…”
I think I quite like Lord Henry the cynic. He is every part of the definition:
Collin Firth plays an awesome Lord Henry, btw.
1. A person who believes all people are motivated by selfishness.
2. A person whose outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative.
That being said, Mr. Wilde speaks many truths through him, negative though they may be. For example, it is very true that humanity worships its gods and then asks for something in return. It is true for most of us Christians, too, MYSELF included. In fact, I may be the forerunner of that lot. It does seem that way most of the time :) .
If I were more Christ-like I would worship the Lord not wanting nor asking for anything in return. But most, if not all, of my prayers include my asking something from Him. On the other side of this, He is my Father so I should be able to ask Him anything. The problem arises when I do not want to let Him decide if what I ask for is best for me.
Different subject: I also like the whole “women give you everything but want it all back in such very small change” thing. It may offend some, but it humors me–a lot. I can just see myself giving my Husband this huge heart exemplifying my love for him and then, while he is carrying all of its weight, asking if he can dig in his pocket for some change–repeatedly–while demanding that he not drop my “love”.
So many times I ask soooo much of him and expect him to continue to treat me as if we were in the dating stage again all the while. Well, there’s a thought for another time. I would jump on it, but I fear that if I did no one would ever read my posts again! It would be that long.
“Religion consoles some. Its mysteries have all the charm of a flirtation, a woman once told me; and I can quite understand it. Besides, nothing makes one so vain as being told that one is a sinner. Conscience makes egotists of us all.”
I am not sure what it is that interests me about this quote. Perhaps it is that Mr. Wilde is showing how seriously, or rather, unseriously, he takes God or any religion for that matter. It has all the charm of a flirtation….We do all know so well how the Victorian Era looked upon flirts. That in itself, reflects to me at least, how well Mr. Wilde thought of religion. I pitty the poor soul who looks upon God as a flirt. I, myself, cannot even think what it means or its implications.