The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

dorian gray(The conclusion in English at the last words)

Title : The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author : Oscar Wilde (1891)
Publisher : Signet Classic, New American Library
Edition : 16th printing, ©1983
Fomat : Paperback, 234 pages (of 304 pages total)

“I hate them for it,” cried Hallward. “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. Some day I will show the world what it is; and for that reason the world shall never see my portrait of Dorian Gray.” (p.29)

“It was not intended as a compliment. It was a confession. Now that I have made it, something seems to have gone out of me. Perhaps one should never put one’s worship into words.” (Basil Hallward, p.129)

Basil Hallward mungkin melakukan kesalahan ketika membagi perasaannya pada Lord Henry Wotton tentang Dorian Gray. Ketika menjadikan Dorian sebagai objek lukisannya, Basil mengerahkan seluruh ‘diri’nya dalam lukisan tersebut. Lord Henry yang merasa tertarik dengan deskripsi penuh pujaan Basil terhadap Dorian pun semakin penasaran. Sejak pertama kali bertemu Dorian, Basil sudah merasakan bahwa kawan barunya tersebut memiliki kepribadian yang menarik dan akan mempengaruhi dirinya. Akan tetapi, Dorian yang muda dan polos pun berubah setelah diperkenalkan pada Lord Henry.

Kekaguman Dorian terhadap Lord Henry sama seperti Basil pada dirinya, inilah yang mengawali perubahan tersebut. Lord Henry menanamkan kecintaan pada kemudaan dan penampilan, sehingga kecintaan Dorian pada dirinya sendiri tumbuh secara tidak sehat. Tepat saat lukisan dirinya selesai, Dorian berharap agar lukisannya saja yang menua, sementara dirinya tetap dalam keadaan terbaiknya saat itu. Sesuatu yang aneh terjadi kemudian. Harapannya menjadi nyata, tetapi dalam wujud yang lebih mengerikan.

But the picture? What was he to say of that? It held the secret of his life, and told his story. It had taught him to love his own beauty. Would it teach him to loathe his own soul? Would he ever look at it again? (p.105)

Kepolosan yang terenggut darinya tampak dalam lukisan dirinya. Kekejian, kelicikan, kejahatan, semuanya mewujud dalam lukisan yang kemudian disembunyikan di sebuah ruangan di rumahnya. Penampilan Dorian yang tetap muda dan polos bisa menipu sebagian orang, tetapi tidak dari orang-orang yang pernah menjadi ‘korban’nya. Sementara hubungannya dengan Lord Henry semakin erat karena ide-ide yang merasukinya, pertemanannya dengan Basil semakin renggang. Belasan tahun berlalu, darah dan kutukan orang-orang mengotori lukisan Dorian Gray, dendam dan permusuhan menghantuinya. Mungkin hanya Basil yang masih benar-benar peduli dan percaya padanya, di samping Lord Henry yang mendukung segala kehidupan penuh kesenangan yang kini dijalaninya.

He played with the idea and grew wilful; tossed it into the air and transformed it; let it escape and recaptured it; made it iridescent with fancy and winged it with paradox. (p.57)

Membaca buku ini memberikan emosi yang campur aduk. Pada mulanya, kita disuguhi deskripsi-deskripsi yang indah, kalimat-kalimat penuh filosofi, kemudian lambat laun kita dijerumuskan pada area abu-abu, pada paradoks berpikir, dan kemudian dihempaskan kepada kenyataan. Kenyataan yang mungkin menyakitkan, mengecewakan, tetapi mungkin juga itulah yang terbaik, atau bisa jadi indah jika kita memandang dari sudut pandang yang lain.

Mere words! Was there anything so real as words? (p.36)

Sesuai judulnya, buku ini menunjukkan potret Dorian Gray, perkembangan karakternya sejak bertemu dengan Lord Henry, sejak lukisan Basil selesai. Dorian muda yang naif begitu mudah terpengaruh oleh kalimat-kalimat Lord Henry. Di saat keputusannya membawa malapetaka mengerikan, Lord Henry yang menghilangkan perasaan bersalahnya. Selain melalui kata-kata, Lord Henry juga mempengaruhi Dorian melalui sebuah buku yang dipinjamkannya. Dorian pun tumbuh dewasa sebagai orang yang memuja penampilan, gemar berhura-hura dan—secara tak sadar—mematikan hati dan perasaannya.

Dorian Gray had been poisoned by a book. There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful. (p.158)

Uniknya, penulis bisa membuat kita (atau saya) memandang Dorian sebagaimana orang-orang memandang Dorian Gray. Dorian yang tampan dan berwajah polos, meski banyak perkataan negatif tentangnya di luar sana, kita hanya bisa melihat Dorian Gray yang menawan. Buku ini mendeskripsikan Dorian sedemikian rupa sehingga sangat sulit untuk kehilangan simpati padanya.

Selain karakterisasi yang kuat, narasi yang diutarakan oleh penulis sangat cantik. Mulai dari detail kejadian, deskripsi setting, hingga isi pikiran para karakternya. Akhir kisah ini tidak sulit ditebak, kejutan justru bertebaran di tengah-tengah cerita—mungkin lebih kepada rasa tak percaya bahwa kejadiannya akan seperti itu. Namun tetap saja, akhir kisah ini menyisakan sebuah perasaan manis-pahit yang sulit dihilangkan.

“To be good is to be in harmony with one’s self.” (Lord Henry, p.92)

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only novel that Wilde wrote. The novel captured self-lovingness in a dark way. Dorian Gray, who was influenced by Lord Henry Wotton, worshipped his own youth and beauty. Therefore, he was trapped in his own sufferings, while he acted hedonistic. He had to hold a secret about his shames in his own picture—drawn by Basil Hallward, his former admirer—that magically bore his age and faults.

Wilde’s writing style was beautiful. He captured human nature, described landscape into details, and delivered philosophical ideas. This book is so contain, in spite of the not-so-many number of pages. I said, it’s more than enough of Wilde writing this one novel in his lifetime (let alone his plays, short stories and essays).

4.5/5 stars for the beauty of dangerous self-admiration.

“I worshipped you too much. I am punished for it. You worshipped yourself too much. We are both punished.” (p. 170)

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900)

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900)

Today (16 October 2014) is the 160th birthday of Oscar Wilde. He has become my favourite author since I read three of his plays last year. I dedicated this review of his wonderful only novel on this special day. Although, I don’t feel complete with this version, because it was censored. The original draft of this book was banned due to homosexuality issue, therefore his editor asked him to change many things. And because I’m a curious reader, I’m looking forward to reading the original idea of my favourite author—without intending to judge the idea. Perhaps I could catch something different and more from that version.

“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. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.” (Lord Henry, p.88)

Review #23 of Classics Club Project

Review #16 for 2014 TBRR Pile Reading Challenge (Book Into Movie #2)

Review #24 for Lucky No.14 Reading Challenge category Favorite Author

9 responses to “The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

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  9. saya ingin membaca buku ini, karena selalu mendengar tentang nama Dorian Gray, dan cuma bisa baca di Wikipedia karena di beberapa toko buku yg saya sukai tidak memiliki buku tersebut, sehingga saya patah arang dan membalikkan motor saya kembali kerumah…..hingga saya baca review dan giveaway ini😀

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