It really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that I really loved Wilde's novel about the dark and evil Dorian Gray. In my last post, I talked a lot about the creepiness of the picture, and debate between youth and beauty. Now that I have finished it. I can totally agree with everything I have already said.
The novel discusses, at length, the whole idea of whether it is better to be young and beautiful, or old and wise. I mean, is there really a problem with developed some small wrinkles as you get older? For myself, I have always seen wrinkles as a sign that someone has lived a long and happy life.
I had a friend in college who didn't smile or laugh often because she didn't want smile and laugh lines on her face. Personally, I smile and laugh a lot. That is what makes life so great. I hope when I eventually have grandchildren they can look at my face and say, "Wow, Grandma had a happy life."
Anyway, Dorian Gray doesn't want any of that, so he remains eternally young as his portrait ages. And while I don't necessarily want to wake up with gray hair tomorrow morning, I don't mind hanging onto my youth while I have it. I have been told I have a baby face and people never think I am as old as I am, and I constantly get carded when I go out with my husband, even though he is younger than I am. Again, I am not complaining, but I don't mind getting older.
I can see, especially in today's day and age of plastic surgery and botox, how we can change the way we look as we age. I have seen those women who cannot move their face to show emotion because of the amount of botox in their face. And we have all seen how celebrities bow to the image they are supposed to portray.
These are the kinds of issues I would love to talk to students about, and this novel lends itself perfectly to that discussion. Perhaps one day I'll get the opportunity to teach this. I think it would be fascinating to see how teenagers view Dorian Gray and the world around them.