The Picture Of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde

1523 Words Aug 2nd, 2016 7 Pages
Reader Response Entry #6: Chapters 10-11
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde was not received well by critics when it was published in 1890. This was because it contained themes of homosexuality and was considered scandalous. Now, it is just considered a philosophical novel dealing with morals.
I think that this book would very much be viewed as indecent in Wilde’s time. For example, when talking about Dorian’s public image, Wilde writes, “Society--civilized society, at least--is never very ready to believe anything to the detriment of those who are both rich and fascinating. It feels instinctively that manners are of more importance than morals” (Wilde 90). Certainly, many people reading it in that time period would feel negatively towards these words, which exclaim that society is blind to the real characters of certain people, but only look towards wealth and appearance when it comes to first impressions. Also, when talking about marriage, Lord Henry says, “Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed” (Wilde 31). This quote could be interpreted as in support of homosexuality, which would be deemed very controversial in Wilde’s time. I think that this book deserved its reputation of being indecent. It talks about drug use and murder, along with the discussion of morality. All of these things are not condemned in the novel. However, I think that in today’s time it would be less controversial…
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