21 July 2010

The Gallery - A novel Idea..

This photo is for this weeks Gallery theme of 'A novel Idea' over at Sticky Fingers .  A photo to represent a favourite book.

The photo is of my 20yo son's tattoo, based on a drawing by the artist/illustrator Dan Mumford, who creates some wonderful art work.

This is the reverse of the premise for the book I've chosen. My son will mature, grow in experiences, learn from them and this growth and these experiences will all be reflected in his appearance.
Unlike his tattoo, which will remain, more or less, ageless.

One of my all time favourite books is The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

The novel starts with Lord Henry Wotton watching the artist Basil Hallward painting a portrait of a beautiful, young man named Dorian Gray. Dorian arrives to sit for the artist, and Lord Henry tells him 'youth is the only thing worth having' and that Dorian will soon age and lose his beauty. 

'Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. '

When our children are born, they are innocents, they have no idea of how to perceive things. They're naive to their surrounding, dependant on those around to show the way. We teach our values, our morals. We try to set them right if they go wrong, bolstering confidence in achievements and hopefully enabling them to become free thinking and independant adults, who value people for who they.
The job is made so much harder for parents, in the image driven society of today, where it's seen as perfectly acceptable, for some, to 'sell your soul' for 15 mins of celebrity/fame.

And where 'youth and beauty' is often seen as the only currency of any value.

Although this book was written by Wilde in 1890, the morals and values within the story are timeless, so still extremely relevant today. It's a story about sin and vanity and friendships that fall by the wayside, of life and death and corruption. 
The message is that beauty lies within. That change is inevitable and we should accept and embrace it in all spheres of life.

Sound familiar?

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