Monday, November 26, 2012

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" {By Oscar Wilde} Book Club Ideas

"The Picture of Dorian Gray"
by: Oscar Wilde

 "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."      
Wilde claimed that Lord Henry represented his public image but that the author actually was more like Basil and secretly yearned to be more like Dorian.
The Picture of Dorian Gray Book Club Decorations
This table represented all of Dorian's travels and indulgences from Chapter 11 and 12.

Dorian travels the world in an attempt to find refuge from his gnawing guilt. Indeed, Dorian lives a life marked by fear and suspicion. He finds it difficult to leave London, giving up the country villa he shares with Lord Henry for fear that someone will stumble upon the dreaded portrait in his absence. One can argue that Dorian turns to the study of perfumes, jewels, musical instruments, and tapestries as a source of comfort.
The Picture of Dorian Gray Book Club Decorations
Certainly Dorian’s greatest reason for indulging in the studies that Wilde describes at length is his disenchantment with the age in which he lives.
We spotlighted a Shakespeare book on the decor table because of the many references through out book to his plays.
I started taking note of the plays mentioned through out the book which were:
1.  Romeo and Juliet
2. As You Like it
3. Cymbeline
4. The Merchant of Venice
5. Much Ado About Nothing
6. King Lear
7.  Othello
8.  Hamlet

We had a spooky Halloween themed menu since our meeting fell on October 30th!
We had:
-Rotten Fruit
-Cranberry and cheese sandWITCHES
-Blood Soup
-Witch finger bread sticks
-Ghoulish Guacamole and chips
-Sinister Cider Punch
-Gillyweed Salad
-Putrid Pumpkin dessert

Bethany had the genius idea to have our own portrait of Dorian Gray at book club!
Through out the evening, people used the markers provided to add some "sinful details" to his portrait and the end result is shown above!

Contraryto the reviews' charge that the novel was immoral, Wilde was concerned that the novel was too moral, that it was didactic in its portrayal of the wages of sin.

As Dorian’s sins grow worse over the years, his likeness in Basil’s portrait grows more hideous. Dorian seems to lack a conscience, but the desire to repent that he eventually feels illustrates that he is indeed human. Despite the beautiful things with which he surrounds himself, he is unable to distract himself from the dissipation of his soul.

While Wilde’s own homosexual inclinations were well known in his day, there is no explicit mention of homosexuality in the novel. In conservative 1890s England, such openness in print would have made the novel unpublishable. Still, the homoerotic relationships between the male characters are vital to the novel.

Under the influence of the “yellow book,” Dorian’s character begins to change. He orders nearly a dozen copies of the first edition and has them bound in different colors to suit his shifting moods.

I put together a book quiz and the prize was a signed copy of our February 2013 book, "The Diviners" by Libba Bray!

The Picture of Dorian Gray Book Club Ideas, Delicious Reads,Oscar Wilde
Bethany was the well deserved WINNER!


The Picture of Dorian Gray Photo Booth
Bethany set up a photo booth in my front room so member could take their own portraits through out the evening!
Below are a few of my favorite portraits.

The Picture of Dorian Gray Photo Booth
The Picture of Dorian Gray Photo Booth

The Picture of Dorian Gray Photo Booth

The Picture of Dorian Gray Photo Booth
Kellie and I got a little silly at the end of the night!

Thank You SO MUCH Bethany for all your help with the photo booth, decorations, inspiration and overall awesomeness!!
This is a video clip from the 1945 movie of the Picture of Dorian Gray when he makes the pact with the devil which changes the course of his life forever.

This video clip is from the 2009 movie with Ben Barnes and Colin Firth where Dorian decides that he is done being a slave to his portrait and ends the pact.
{This movie clip takes artistic liberties and is not exactly how the books describes the ending but the result is the same.}

Read our full book review HERE.

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