There is a friend of mine who fervently holds two obsessions. One of them is drama-for the last several years, you can find her in the program of pretty much every play or musical produced by my school. The other, and the one that she most imposes on any literature-loving acquaintaince she possesses, is Oscar Wilde. I faintly heard of the man while reading The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society (a WONDERFUL book, by the way), what I heard being that he was a rather exquisite author indeed. There were many other books I desired to read, however, and I decided to save the name of this author and his works for a rainy day. But this was before two events transpired:
1. In English class, I was assigned to find a novel whose theme concerned the pertinence of how people viewed others.
2. I realized what a cool name "Dorian Grey" was.
Considering the aforementioned phenomena, I suddenly had to read the novel.
Out of the deepest crevices of Mr. Wilde's mind comes painter Basil (which just happens to be my favorite seasoning-another reason to love this book!) Hallward, a man whose entire creative force has been possessed by a breathtakingly handsome lad named Dorian Gray. On a pleasant afternoon when he is passionately working on a portrait of Dorian, Basil tells his dear friend, Lord Henry Watton, of his almost unhealthy obsession with the young man. Lord Henry expresses his fascination with the phenomenon and is therefore extremely jubilant when Dorian himself drops by Basil's art studio in order to stand for Hallward's portrait just as he has been doing for the past several weeks. However, fascination is not all that he expresses; Lord Henry is an ardent hedonist (person who believes that the goal of every action should be to obtain personal pleasure) who absolutely adores sharing the philosophy he maintains with others especially when the minds of those others are malleable enough to be twisted by hedonism's wayward, pleasure-driven ideas. Dorian unfortunately falls prey to the attractive naughtiness of the notions, by the culmination of the session being thoroughly convinced that "when one loses one's good looks, whatever they may be, one loses everything." Therefore, he prays in a fervor of self-pity that instead of himself aging, the wears of time would show on the perfect face of Basil's portrait. And that, through the wonders of literature, they do...but not entirely. Blemishes caused by aging, you see, are not all that the mug on the canvas begins to portray as the years pass. Because of Dorian's adoption of the hedonist philosophy from Lord Henry, many selfish and perverse acts begin to inhabit his lifespan and poison it with their abhorrence. With each of these acts, each of these resistances against the righteousness of his consience, an imperfection reveals itself on Basil's work. An unpleasant curve of the lip, a wrinkle near the eye, a deformation of the posture-something that irrevocably alters the image of breathtaking youth and virginity that Basil initially depicted on that canvas. Dorian also posssesses the ability to actually witness his soul's gradual progression into the deepes seas of maliciousess since Basil gave him the piece. And the best aspect of it all? Even as he witnesses their devestating effect on his soul, Dorian does not cease performing his unrighteous executions. There is a bit of hesitation when he first discovers the portrait's true nature, but the sum of a few reassuring Lord Henry-isms and one awesome plot twist (I'll leave you to discover its indisputable awesomeness) secures Hedonisms mammoth and active role in Dorian's life. So the selfishness and crime continue, as does the decay...
Right here, right now, writing this, I suddenly realize that there's a person in this world to whom this story, this experience, rather, would be invaluable. Can you guess the individual in question from the title of this post? Can you? Did you get it yet? I think you did-that's right, folks, our favorite chica from MTV's hit reality show, Jersey Shore....the ONE....the ONLY...SNOOKI! Can you hear me, Snookster? You should really read this book. I bet that you'll enjoy it so much that it will change the course of your utterly Jerseylicious life. Here's why:
Any guy on the street knows that the exact case presented in Dorian Gray is completely impossible-every person must succumb to the eternal force of age as time endures. However, the notion of some individuals of the world being protected from the repurcussions of their actions by a species of personal shield is absolutely correct. Some people-ahem, Ms. Polizzi-can maintain their general acceptance, and in some cases their overwhelmingly desirable status, within society regardless of what unrighteous actions they may perform. This is because the repurcussions of those actions are outweighed by some other force of considerable strength that the individual in question possesses; this force can be the degree of one's social status, one's previous accomplishments, one's appearance, or most commonly (and most detrimentally as well) the entertainment of society with one's negative actions. Dorian's shield, for example, is his eternal youth and beauty despite the ages and any sinister actions he executes. But each of these contemporary indiciduals possess a "picture" alongside their shield, ones that can potentially harm their lives much more than that of Mr. Grey's . You see, each bad action performed by one in our world makes a permanent inprint on her soul. This imprint that will indisputably influence her life in a customarily negative mode at any time proceeding the time it was forged. Dorian has the fortunate capability of hiding his picture away in a remote recess of his house after placing a thick blanket over it; people in this world, however, do not have this luxery. Others in our reality will eventually storm into one's house, locate that portrait, tear any device used to alter their ultimate interpretation of it, and show the depiction with all of its waywardness and reputation-soiling power to the outside world. And the more you hide, the more there is to be discovered and the more fruits others sense will be obtained from discovery. If one is a member of the select few who find that their portrait's hiding place is utterly successful in guiling the general public, there is, fortunately, still an ordeal for him as well. Dorian continues to look at the portrait throughout his life, even at times when he doubts the thing's eventual use of its reputation-destroying power. He still ventures up to that old schoolroom where the portrait is hidden and sits, staring at the phenomenon, for days on end. Every blemish, every sign of decay that causes him so pain...he inhales all of it through extended periods of wild self-torture. So that's right, Snooki-even if nobody cares that you got arrested when you eventually look for work in the however-distant future, the ghost of that action can haunt you until the day you perish. Next time, think twice before you decide to get wasted on a beach and oh-so-cordially scream "Get the f**k off me!" to a horde of policemen. You know, just a tip.
What can those of us who are innocent do? Well, not supporting the shields of the aforementioned people would be an exquisite start. We can achieve this with the simple act of not talking about these people; Jersey Shore would not possess half of the fans it does if the show was not touched upon so frequently in both the regular public conversation and the media. People should at least know about the show, but the constant drilling of its contents into their heads causes them to possess no choice except to indeed watch it. And the fact that the "establishment" is so rejecting of the program makes firebrand youths love it even more. Tuning in to see when DJ Pauly D and the Situation are up to each weak is a mode of expressing their discontent with the ardent conservatism around them. If you want to avoid a fire, don't exuberantly stress your prohibition of playing with matches.
As for me, it's April Break Time! WOO-HOO! Besides that wonderful plus, I am thoroughly enjoying the fact that two of my favorite foods in the world-jelly beans and matzoh-are in stores simultaneously at the present time. Yum! Oh, and that that reminds me-for those who celebrate it, have a wonderful Passover, and for some who don't celebrate it, have a Hoppy Easter! Picture the re-do of this sight as a matzoh-filled Easter Basket from me to ya'll...only one that you don't have to find. And speaking of springy things...
What books do yoose guys plan to sink your teeth into before summer?