Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fishbowl 17-20 Question

Now that we have finished the book, what is the point? What was Oscar's Wilde purpose in writing this?

20 comments:

SarahE2010 said...

I think Oscar Wilde was making a statement about his own life through this book. I think he was trying to explain why he did the things he did, so that people in his society could understand him. I also think some of the issues in this book could serve as a warning to the readers. Messages like "beauty is more important than being good" and things about consequences could serve as Wilde trying to advise readers how to live their lives.

TaylorS2009 said...

I think that Oscar Wilde was trying to make the point that people look into things more than they ever should. I can see this being a possibility because he was thrown in jail for what he would obviously think of as an absurd reason. He would most likely be angry about how everyone in society sculpts what is acceptable and what isn't. What better way to express these feelings than a book? He had the time. This book seems very satirical to me. He is making fun of how Dorian was so beautiful and then he caused his own downfall. Throughout the book, I got the feeling that this is how it was written.

SaraB2009 said...

I honestly think that there was no point. The book was art for art sake and Wilde was trying to tell us that all along, it was even staring us in the face in the preface, and we thought we were all cool and smart by analysing the book, but Wilde was just stating his opinion about everything in this book. I also think that he was probably pretty bored in jail so why not write a book? Everyone is trying to answer the question whats the point?... but then can I ask...

WHATS THE POINT OF ASKING WHATS THE POINT?!?!?

Pat said...

I think Oscar Wilde is trying to make the point that society destroys people’s individualism. Wilde was in jail for a crime that he believed he did not commit and by writing this book I think he was showing that society can easily turn something that is perfectly normal to a crime. I think that was his whole point about art. Art can’t be analyzed because it can be easily misinterpreted and does not have to make sense to everyone. Wilde was arguing that society has a certain image of someone and if people don’t meet the accepted appearance than they are considered different, making it a crime to be different. Wilde’s actions were viewed as a horrible crime but his own interpretation was he was unique and was experiencing life the way that satisfied his own personal view. I think he was proving how easily it is to be frowned upon when taking the step to stand out and be an individual. I believe this book was a slap in society’s face for locking up Wilde because of his actions he took that weren’t openly accepted.

HaileyM2009 said...

Throughout this book I believe that Oscar Wilde was searching for his own point in his own life. He obviously doesn't believe in following the crowd, and though this book is not an autobiography I almost think it was like a journal for him as he sat in jail. He is still deciding for himself what the point of art, relationships, and life are, while prompting others to do the same. At the same time, it is a commentary on how silly and obnoxious and even harmful society can be--this comes out often in his writing whether it be The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Importance of Being Earnest.
The point of this book is for each spectator and critic and even the artist himself to search for his own point in life and in art.

LaurenB2009 said...

Honestly I sill don't get what Wilde's point of writing this was even after we finished the book. The was he contradicts himself almost makes it seem like he didn't even know the point of writing it. I fell like he is saying that art is a person's way of expressing one's self. Therefore no one else can see the true beauty behind it which makes it useless. Also, maybe Wilde is saying that outer beauty is useless because of the way society uses it and it is inner beauty that has a real purpose in life.

KatieM2009 said...

I am not sure what the point of this book was. I was not able to see one in the reading. I personally feel that there was no point in this book in literary terms, it was just meant to be a good read. I am still convinced that Wilde did not want this story to be analyzed, he just wanted to entertain those who decided to read his book and give people the chance to experience something other than reality.

jordan s said...

I agree with Sara, why bother asking what is the point? The point is to expand our knowledge. Every single school in Colorado is different, yet the teachers keep teaching and students continue to learn, just differently. Ultimately we all come out and go into college with some basic knowledge of history, math, science and language arts. The point is to give us something to do so that we work together as a team in preparing for the fishbowls, work together as a class to have a successful fishbowl, and individually to gain a greater understanding of the text and context and participate actively. That is the point. To prepare us for something that we are quickly approaching. We read this book not because knowing about Oscar Wilde is important, but because the social and academic skills we pick up along the way will benefit us long into the future.

mollyp2010 said...

In the end I think that Oscar Wilde's point of writing this was to warn people about what can happen when one cares too much about the beauty on the outside, and not enough about the beauty on the inside. He says: "All art is quite useless". While there is an obvious piece of art in the book-the painting, I think that Wilde's main example of art was Dorian Gray himself. If you think about it, Dorian turned out to be useless, or at least he wasn't good for anything productive. The only purpose he really served was to look pretty. I think that was the other main purpose of wilde's- to say that beauty on the outside isn't good for anything except that-being pretty. People shouldn't look for or expect anything more from someone or something that is only pleasing to the eye.

IreneL2010 said...

Like many of my classmates, I honestly believe that Wilde really wasn't trying to make a statement with this book. We addresses the issue of "art for art's sake" many times, therefore it must have some connection to Dorian Gray. Though it can be argued that "art for art's sake" is a "point", I think that he wanted to write a book just because he enjoyed writing.
I agree with Jordan, the point of literature and discussing literature is to expand our knowledge. There really is no point in picking apart a book trying to find its meaning, because in the end everyone is going to get something different out of it.
So I believe a more accurate question to ask is, what did you get out of the book? Not "what is the point."

EricL2009 said...

I feel that Oscar Wilde's point of the picture of Dorian Gray was first to give him something to do when he was in jail and locked up and so he wrote about his life and it gave him something to do other than play with his thumbs. The other point that is trying to be made here is the fact that we try to much to stay beautiful and young and that in life we start out young and grow older and wiser. The last point that I believe that is trying to be made here is that we do things that society wants us to do and do what is the society feels is best and do what others want us to do because if we dont society will look down on us.

KendraS2009 said...

I think that Oscar Wilde put a lot of himself into the book. He was trying to explain more about himself and the things that happened to him through this book. He put a part of himself into each character in the book.

Lauren L said...

I don't think there is a point to this book. This book might be trying to show us how we are so critical of one another and Wilde really wasnt a rebel but just an individual. This book does not really have a purpose but just another expression. Dorian Grey was very different compared to the other books we have read where the point or the plot was a little more undetermined compared to shakespeare or another author. Overall Wilde used this to express his feelings and trick people.

KaitlanW2009 said...

I think Oscar Wilde's point was to not over analyze the little things in life. To just look at art as beautiful, with no meanings behind it. "Art for arts sake". I believe he was trying to show that over analyzing things, and worrying just sends people into chaos, and destruction. That life is simple, and all you need to do is live.

RickM2009 said...

I believe Wilde's purpose in writing this book was to stir up and suppress controversy in one single story. One thing I noticed about the predictions the class made during discussions about the book was many people believed the book would become more and more controversial the further we read, but the opposite ended up being true. The book began by setting the stage for homosexual relationships, but these were never actually seen. Instead we ultimately read a moral story. I believe the point of this book was to show things aren't always as they appear.

korlandini said...

I don't know what the point is. Is the point not to know what the point is? Did Wilde have a point in writing the book? I would like to think not. I would rather be making too much of this book then too little. Plus i just don't like writers who hide a bunch of subliminal crap in their books. I would rather find personal meaning in books. I don't want to know what the author thinks his book should mean. I don't want to know what meaning others find. I want to know what the book means to me.

Steven W said...

I think that Wilde's point was to show the effect on influence. In many ways I feel that Wilde put a piece of himself into each of the characters. I do however think that he desires to be most like Lord Henry because he has no concern for the interests of others. Lord Henry's main motivation is his own interests and telling everyone his own option but not really ever purposefully swaying anyone. The fact that Lord Henry is the only key player that is still alive at the end of the book. I think that this is due to the fact that he doesn't allow others to influence his decisions. I think that this is Wilde's underlying purpose in the book to suggest that people shouldn't live their live based on what others think about them but what they think of themselves.

AdrienneB2009 said...

Wilde is making points about society and the individual and their tragic relationship.
There are multiple points to be made with this book.
1: Over-analyzing art (like this book) can ruin it
2: Innocence is ignorance and it is over-rated
3: Vanity is worthless
4: The pursuit of pleasure can lead to one’s downfall
5: Feeding society can lead to one’s downfall
6: Be an individual, think for yourself
7: One will be tormented by denying responsibility for his or her actions
8: There will always be consequences for one’s actions
Surely there are so many more I may not be intelligent enough to recognize.

Kim C. 2010 said...

I think that there are various points that can be taken out of the book. Such as beauty can be shallow and when focused on causes destruction. Also, there is Oscar Wilde's statement that there is no such thing as an immoral or moral book. This suggests that we look to much into books and over analyze them, and we lose sight of the real reason the book was created. I think that Oscar Wilde was ultimately trying to say that How is it fair to judge him, for perhaps morals meant nothing to him and he felt unfairly judged by being thrown into prison.

DrewB2009 said...

I think Oscar Wilde was trying to get us to stop analyzing everything and just enjoy art or whatever for what it is. At one point I think he said something like, "art is only useful to the artist" which, to me, makes a lot of sense. If you create a piece of art, or a book, and intend to have one meaning, not everybody will find that same meaning when they look at it. I think he is trying to show everyone that art is really only useful to the one who creates the artwork.