Books Classic Horror Insights

The Picture of Dorian Gray | Book Review


  • You’re curious why this became a famous classic
  • You’re interested in themes revolving around beauty vs morality
  • You want to read about a despicable lead character


Yung libro ay patungkol sa isang napaka-poging bachelor (si Dorian) na sobrang na-obsess sa kagwapuhan nya. Pumapasok din sa horror genre yung book kasi meron syang painting ng muka nya tapos imbis na sya yung tumatanda, yung painting yung nagiging matanda at pumapangit while he remains youthful and pogi.

So eto yung March book ng book club namin kasi ang genre na naka-assign for March ay classics. As someone na hindi ganun kanagbabasa ng classics, kahit anong book yung mapili that month open naman akong basahin. Mukang okay na eto yung nanalo kasi naging maganda yung discussion namin. Bigla ko tuloy naalala na kelangan ko na nga palang i-edit yung podcast. Recorded yung discussions namin so ina-upload ko sya as podcast episodes. Tingnan natin mamaya kung sipagin akong mag-edit.

Hello from our book club 😄

Marami ding nagsabi na very relevant pa din ‘tong book na ‘to hanggang ngayon. Na-publish nga pala ‘to nung 1890. Yung themes kasi nung book ay vanity, selfishness, morality and bad influences amongst others.


Speaking of bad influence, yung character ni Lord Henry yung tinutukoy na bad influence kay Dorian. And merong question dun sa book discussion namin na, “Do you have a Lord Henry in your life?” On the surface wala akong maisip, pero biglang pumasok sa isip ko yung social media. Lalo na siguro ang Instagram kasi yun talaga yung platform na madalas exposed ako.

At hindi mo talaga maiitanggi yung feelings of inadequacy kasi you see these people living seemingly perfect lives. I think sobrang nag-improve na ko ngayon kasi I don’t get affected as much anymore. Pero nung bago pa lang umuuso yung posting what and where they eat, the endless travels, the perfect faces and bodies, parang hindi ka talaga makakalusot dun. I’m just thankful that I see things more clearly now.

Pero as much as I don’t like Lord Henry’s character, ang dami nyang quotable quotes. Kaya naman siguro dalang dala si Dorian sa mga pinagsasabi ni Lord Henry. Not necessarily kakapulutan ng aral yung ibang pinagsasabi nya pero basta mapapaisip lang. Eto yung about mystery or secrecy:

The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it.

Lord Henry

May sinabi rin si Basil (yung nag-paint kay Dorian) na something about art. Medyo naka-relate ako dito kasi nga nagpe-paint ako and sometimes I become too precious with my art. Medyo hirap akong maka-move on sa next kasi ang personal masyado sakin. Not necessarily na meron syang special meaning pero yung oras na ginugol ko para tapusin yung painting, hindi ko mapakawalan. At kung may magbibigay ng hindi magandang feedback (which is parang wala naman akong ma-recall), feeling ko mamasamain ko sya. Kasi nga pinaghirapan ko sya. Eto yung quote:

An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty.

Basil Hallward

May pinagtatalunan sila ni Lord Henry dyan tapos may sinabi nanaman si Lord Henry na mapapaisip ka:

I won’t argue with you. It is only the intellectualy lost who ever argue.

Lord Henry

Moving on, medyo madaming shocking moments dito sa book na ‘to. I think yung pinaka-una ay yung suicide ni Sibyl Vane. Tapos nagsunod sunod na. Isa pang shocking eh yung frames of mind nung dalwa: Dorian at Lord Henry. Kakaiba silang magisip. Hindi normal. Pang psychopath. At yun na nga yung nangyari nung huli. Nung minurder ni Dorian si Basil. At ang nakaka-badtrip, feeling nya tama lang yung ginawa nya.

Same rin with Sibyl’s suicide, pinerceive nila yung pagkamatay nya as romantic. Sobrang “HUH??”

And yet I must admit that this thing that has happened does not affect me as it should. It seems to me to be simply like a wonderful ending to a wonderful play. It has all the terrible beauty of a Greek tragedy, a tragedy in which I took a great part, but by which I have not been wounded.

Dorian Gray

Blech! So yun. Wala talagang redeeming quality ang lead character na ‘to. Pero yun nga, meron ka naman matututunan and mare-realize. May mga bagay na you have to be careful about.

Eto yung isa pang example na may saltik sa utak ‘tong si Dorian Gray. Eto yung reaction nya dun sa portrait nya.

Why did you paint it? It will mock me some day—mock me horribly!

Dorian Gray

Another comment pala na gusto kong i-add on how the book was written, it’s very poetic. Example:

A rose shook in her blood and shadowed her cheeks. Quick breath parted the petals of her lips.

Ang gandaaaa. Tapos ganito pala sila magtanong ng time dati:

What o’clock is it, Victor?

Dorian Gray

La lang.

RATING [3.5 🌟]

So okay naman sya. And okay din syang introduction sa classics kasi hindi sya nose bleed basahin. Tapos may pagka-horror pa so extra interesting.


Genius vs Beauty

There is no doubt that genius lasts longer than beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place. The thouroughly well-informed man—that is the modern ideal.

Lord Henry

And beauty is a form of genius—is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.

Lord Henry

Women have no appreciation of good looks; at least, good women have not.

Lord Henry

Women more than men yes.

On self-development:

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self.

Lord Henry

Dami talagang alam ni Lord Henry.

I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream— I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal.

Lord Henry

Ni-research ko kung ano yung Hellenic ideals. Yun daw yung flourishing of the arts, science and philosophy. Mmkay.

Another amusing anecdote from Lord Henry 😄:

Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last for ever.

Lord Henry

On simple pleasures:

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.

Lord Henry

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Lord Henry

On giving advice:

People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity.

Lord Henry

On making judgments:

I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices.

Lord Henry

Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.

Basil Hallward

You were so wrong Basil 😅

To define is to limit.

Dorian Gray

Do you agree with this? As usual si Lord Henry nanaman ‘to.

We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.

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