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The Picture of Dorian Gray, Brown Supplement- A book that has influenced you


RHFJordan 2 / 5  
Dec 30, 2009   #1
hey guys
I wrote this essay when I was kind of exhausted from a day's work.
could you please read it and criticize? feel free to be harsh (warning: the ending is quite bad =D)
A. Tell us about an intellectual experience, project, class, or book that has influenced or inspired you. (Word limit 500)

"There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral - immoral from the scientific point of view."

"Why?"
"Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed."

- Lord Henry from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

From the moment I read The Picture of Dorian Gray, I felt the entire world around me transform. I realized that the book posses numerous subtle thoughts and ideas. The words of Oscar Wilde greatly influenced me.

When reading this spectacular book, I recalled my experience with society influencing my personal decisions. Ever since kindergarten, my mother told me that I had a particular talent in drawing. My paintings always stood out from the other blurs of art. However, the Jordanian society claims that art "does not put food on the table". This label affected my mothers' train of thought, which in return influenced mine. In response to society's pressure, my mother repeatedly asked me to pursue a career in science, and maintain art as a hobby. I now find myself constantly doubting the decision I have made; the one my mother had somewhat prearranged for me.

Another form of society's influence was manifested in my desire to become a doctor. For many years in Jordan, it has been a custom that at least one of the father's children must pursue the same career path as his. My dad is a doctor; therefore, either my siblings or I must follow in his footsteps. As I am the eldest daughter, my parents had hoped that I would be that disciple. They managed to pass on their influence to me. For five years now, I wanted to become a doctor, until I read The Picture of Dorian Gray. I did not want to be molded into a world that was already planned out for me. I detested the idea of being molded into a world that was already planned out for me; I desired to create one for my own.

However, although most influences alter a person character negatively to some extent, I recognized that the effect could sometimes be noteworthy. If I hadn't listened to my parents, I would not have learned to be so hardworking. I would not have had the courage to pursue the United World College experience. I would not have had made the choice to remain in the United States for an education. I would not have become who I am today.

The words of Oscar Wilde made me re-evaluate the entire world I live in. It made me question every thing I have learned, and every value I ever had. Although these simple words managed to shake my entire foundation, I realized that without certain influences you cannot become who you are.
badromance 1 / 18  
Jan 7, 2010   #2
Great Essay! I like how you sum up everything so concisely in the conclusion.


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