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What did you love best about The Picture of Dorian Gray?
The fact that the writer directly engaged the moral issue, which can be summed up as, "Is it better to be beautiful than good?" Oddly he answers his own question in the conventional way, which is not what I was prepared for. It seems Gray gets his just punishment at the end. But along the way there is the idea that fate, accident, random occurrences also can determine one's outcomes. So this isn't a straightforward justification of the "wages of sin." I think Wilde was more subtle than that in his contemplation of art and aesthetic appreciation and their effects on human life.
Who was your favorite character and why?
There isn't a single likeable character in the story. Dorian is immorality incarnate, Basil allows his appreciation of aesthetics to get in the way of his judgment, Sir Henry is a loathsome upper class idiot, and Sybil is a fool. But Dorian's development from a beautiful young innocent to a decadent monster is fascinating.
Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?
The narration was very good and Page did all the characters well.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No, but I learned more about the 19th century foppish British aristocracy--possibily Wilde's own circle--that I might have wanted.
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