A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

Great Quotes from The Picture of Dorian Gray

I recently finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, which I wouldn’t say I loved but am still glad I read. There’s definitely a lot of food for thought to be had in the plot of the story, as well as in the many passages of the character Lord Henry’s irreverent intellectual spoutings. Here are some great quotes from the book.

On people:

“People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves.”

On children and parents:

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”

On aging:

“The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young.”

On censorship:

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

On poverty (and I heavily agree that this is a sad reality):

“The real tragedy of the poor is that they can afford nothing but self-denial.”

On being ourselves (I just love this! It accords with the thoughts I expressed in my post “We Need You to Be Yourself“):

“People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self….I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream—I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal—to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us.”

And a short dialogue exchange, also on being ourselves:

“‘When we are happy, we are always good, but when we are good, we are not always happy.’
‘Ah! but what do you mean by good?’…
‘To be good is to be in harmony with one’s self….Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others.”

Poor Oscar Wilde was, as a homosexual in the early 1900s, imprisoned for trying to live in harmony with his true self rather than forcing himself to conform to the preferences of others. 😦

May we keep fighting for the freedoms and rights we need to be ourselves, without hurting others, so our world can be a happier place!


3 comments on “Great Quotes from The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. emilievardaman
    January 27, 2017

    Great quotes here! Thank you. Now it is on my to read list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Brentyn
    January 29, 2017

    I love this! Loved the story (though it was a bit ago I read it so now I’m wondering…) and love the quotes you’ve chosen. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stefanie
    January 31, 2017

    Isn’t it a book filled with great quotes! When I first read it several years ago I was astonished to come across so much that I was already familiar with, “sayings” that have crept into common-ish use. Kind of cool really.


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