Those hoes need to read some Picture of Dorian Gray. Many people misunderstand the ending [plot] because it’s very subtle satire of redemption stories, like an act within an act. When you’ve laid waste to yourself, your loved ones and everything else in the world that matters, you can never undo it, and he doesn’t even mean it, he toys with the idea of regret because by that point he’s completely amoral. The limits, whatever they were, long ceased to exist. He enjoyed the idea of redemption but couldn’t summon any genuine will for it, the authentic has become a sham [think hipster]. It takes a very high IQ to truly understand this book so you don’t see it mentioned often even though Wilde is practically considered of a patron saint of gay ‘activism’ and it was his only novel. The novel could be seen as apologia and a Freudian exploration of his splintered selves or roles, defiantly not suffering for his art (hence the disdain for it, the vain beauty he once had as purer in soul). Dorian is the model of a totally terrible, evil human being, and the titular picture is his face [the plot should now make more sense]. Most people, believing in appearances, are too stupid to look at his conduct, it’s a running joke that if a single one of them stopped and thought logically about the type of man he is, instead of appears to be, he’d be locked up. The entire novel is a laughriot if you’re into largely hollow parodies of morality plays (more popular back then).
“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.”
I’m amazed this hasn’t become a staple on Tumblr, it predates that Monroe quote.
If you can’t tell that’s sarcasm please get checked for social IQ. As for the best-known quote from this book, see it in some context;
“Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.”
The speaker is knowingly full of it, he’s winding up the listener (and reader) like a toy. The listener takes him at face value. The number of layers of humour to this novel make it a classic. What I love best is the Rorschach test of asking a reader what they think it meant, what the themes were. I bet Wilde had fun with that one, asking people at parties. It doesn’t have one. The entire book is a mirror, for the reader to project onto after he made it to project himself, Wilde’s own picture of his own selves long before JK Rowling came up with a horcrux (idea already existed, she came up with that name).
That speech is contrary to neuroscience, btw. Wilde knew from experience, another joke. Ignore your emotions/impulses and they flee. If you cave, the feedback loop is reinforced.
“His beauty had been to him but a mask, his youth but a mockery. What was youth at best? A green, unripe time, a time of shallow moods and sickly thoughts.”
Nonetheless, the novel had some truth buried in there, if you know where to look.
p.s. this is why I don’t do literary reviews. Nobody would care to read them.