Sometimes I love diving into the beauty and elegance of the world of classical literature just to bring variety to my usual reading on psychology and personal growth. This time was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I remember reading it for the first time while I was still in Ukraine in a Ukrainian translation. I remember being very captivated with the sophisticated style and a beautifully written language. So recently, I decided to reread the novel but in the original language.
I must say I really enjoy the syntax and semantics of the English language. It helps me to improve my English, especially being married to a British man who doesn’t miss the chance to take a mickey of my English.
Because I have read this novel before, I knew what was coming; the plot hasn’t changed. However, I have changed and my awareness has changed. This time I saw something that I wasn’t able to see before.
The central theme in the novel is the obsession with the cult of external beauty for the price of the corruption of the soul. “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible….”, Oscar Wilde was as usual sarcastic depicting the flaws of the humanity.
This line from the book made me realise how Mr. Wilde thought ahead of his time. Looking at the world of social media we live in now I wonder if all these Instagram pseudo celebrities do anything else rather than spend their entire time posting photographs desperately trying to prove the world how beautiful and “successful” they are… And the emphasis here is on the word “pseudo”: pseudo beauty, pseudo success, pseudo happiness. They live by likes and comments reiterating their “beauty”. First of all, you don’t make money by getting likes. Secondly, is there real beauty?
Am I too harsh judging the porcelain and Barbie looking women, who are dreadfully trying to prove the world their worthiness hiding their insecurities behind fake masks? Maybe. But I am still going to make a point.