What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?
I was an avid reader from childhood. The first book I read and can remember was the short stories collections by Enid Blyton. She was one of my favorite authors growing up. I read at least 20 of her short stories collections, the Famous Five series, the Five Find-Outers series and the Secret Seven series.
My first novels were Frankenstein, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea to name a few. As you can see most of them have a dark background. My parents were fans of these books so obviously when I wanted to read novels they gave these to me. I think this was primarily where my dark nature began.
But I think that the book that influenced me the most during my childhood had to The Picture of Dorian Gray. I think I read this book when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. This book was my favorite and is still one of my favorite books. For some reason this book seemed to teach me something that none of the other books did.
First off the book was supernatural. Being able to capture one’s beauty in a picture or painting just blew me off. For a long time, I wish I didn’t grow up. Being able to be a child forever seemed more fun than growing up to being an adult. Maybe that’s why even now, I don’t like change in my environment so much.
The book taught morality to me way better than anything else. People say not to do things around you because it is bad. I would question it. Why shouldn’t I? What if I do it? What will happen? The Picture of Dorian Gray spoke about morality. Being bad at first may not seem so bad. You may even enjoy it. But in the end, you lose yourself and no one is your friend. You die alone. The book I had was illustrated and the last picture of the old and evil Dorian Gray was freaky. When I first saw it, I knew I did not want to end up like that. So how to stop it? Be good. Be kind to others and you will not be that ugly creature in the painting.
Lastly, the book showed love wasn’t perfect and so is life. Being a girl, I watched a lot of those princess movies, the ones where it all ends happily ever after. But this book starts out with a love tragedy. The girl, Dorian Gray loves, dies. Her death affected him but he moved on. Her brother didn’t and came back to haunt him. And finally even though he had his wish granted, to be young and beautiful forever, he was so unhappy that he had to kill himself. I learned that exterior beauty is not all and that not everything has a happy ending. It gave me a more realistic view on life.