This week I started reading Oscar Wilde’s, The Picture of Dorian Gray . I have read this novel a total of 5 times in the past and I decided to read it again because Oscar Wilde has a way of making me feel better with his words. I’ve read the first three chapters so far where Basil Hallward paints a portrait of Dorian Gray which he believes is his best work ever. His friend Lord Henry Wotton is with him and the entire time Lord Henry is rambling on about how beauty is more valuable than intellect in society. He believes that beautiful people cannot be intellectuals because thought is what ages a person and makes them unattractive. In his mind thought and experience is what ages a person.
When I read this, I realized that I could see some truth in it. People’s experiences and thoughts often cause stress which in turn cases them to age faster than they would otherwise. But in my opinion it is necessary because a life without experience and thought is not worth living; which is something that I confirmed throughout this internship. I learned so much this summer. I have never been challenged to think so much during summer but I enjoyed every minute of it.
In the novel, Lord Henry corrupts Dorian Gray’s ignorant bliss stage when he makes Dorian paranoid about aging and losing his archaic beauty. When Dorian Grey sees the portrait of himself for the first time, he breaks down emotionally. A sudden stroke of reality hits him and he realizes that he will age and die someday. He weeps and asks why the portrait can’t be the one to age and he stay the exact same as time goes on. He says that for this he will give everything. He refused to accept that aging is part of life and so it tormented him. With my grandmother’s recent passing, I was forced to face this fact. We cannot stay the same forever. Time goes on, we age, and we die eventually. But for now all we can do is move on with our lives. The rest will take care of itself. It was difficult but I’m glad I learned this lesson because it’s one of the most important lessons to learn. Whatever challenges come our way we just have to push through and work harder at it so that we can reach our goals. Instead of getting distracted and sidetracked causing us to waste the time we can’t get back.
On a brighter note, last weekend I also got the opportunity to visit the AYF camp with some of my fellow interns and William. It was the first time I ever went to a camp for any reason so it was all very new to me. Being around some of the kids and watching them be so excited about politics and learning about the ANCA made me see that I love being part of this organization. I definitely want to go back again or do something similar and inform more people about the organization. It was a great experience.