What was Oscar Wilde's purpose for writing "The Picture of Dorian Gray"?
He wanted to inform you that people sometimes make poor decisions
It is an entertaining story about learning important life lessons
This story instructs the reader on how to be a better person
To convince you that people are more important than youth and beauty
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Let us go and sit in the shade,” said Lord Henry. … “You really must not allow yourself to become sunburnt. It would be unbecoming.”
“What can it matter?” cried Dorian Gray, laughing, as he sat down on the seat at the end of the garden.
“It should matter everything to you, Mr. Gray.”
“Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing worth having.”
“I don’t feel that, Lord Henry.”
“No, you don’t feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.
Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? ... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. … And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation.
It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon.
It cannot be questioned. … People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... … You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.
When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it. … You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. … Don’t squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you.
Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. … We never get back our youth.
The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!”