20 July 2015

Re-reading the classic – Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray - PT III

As mentioned a few days ago, I’d be commenting/reviewing this Gothic classic here at The Darkest Soirée. I’m sharing my opinion about quotes and things I find interesting or peculiar with the book.

~ Chapter 2 ~

Lord Henry and Basil enter the room (Basil’s studio) and Henry finally meets Dorian Gray, the lad they so much talked about. Dorian, who was Lord Basil latest model, was waiting for the painter for their new session (Basil is painting him a new portrait…? I understand so!).

As Henry and Dorian are introduced there is a series of dialogues between them two. It reads as Dorian’s innocence and freshness of life contrasting with poisoned reasoning from Henry. As they spoke, Lord Henry could see with his own eyes, the fine beauty of the young man.

Basil antagonises Lord Henry, as he thinks Dorian can’t pose properly for him with all the chatting. After much opposition between the characters, Basil manages to block out the features he wanted from Dorian. Then Dorian and Lord Henry leave to the garden as Basil remains in the room to finish the last touches of the painting which was in progress.

In the garden Lord Henry and Dorian have a conversation, about beauty and youth. And something changes inside Gray. The lad get so touched by Henry’s words, that from that moment on – he would never be the same again.

A while later, they are all gathered inside the studio again, and Basil finishes the painting, signing his name on it. Lord Henry thinks it is the most remarkable modern work of art. Dorian however, gets strangely silent when he sees his portrait. All the conversation he just had with Henry echoed in his mind. Basically, he had a crisis about the fact that he would age and lose all the grace and beauty he had then. He was frustrated to look at the picture, knowing that it would be forever young and keep his handsome features as he would lose all that, within each passing moment.

And here are some remarkable quotes from this chapter:

Harry, I want to finish this picture to-day. Would you think it awfully rude of me if I asked you to go away?” Basil to Henry. I love this quote. It is polite and sounds innocent. But it is the other way of saying: you disturb my painting time, you’re ruining my mood, I’m better off alone right now. ^.^

And now, Dorian, get up on the platform, and don’t move about too much, or pay any attention to what Lord Henry says. He has a very bad influence over all his friends, with the single exception of myself.” Basil to Gray. :D

… The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self. … The terror of society which is basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion – these are two things that govern us.” Lord Henry to Gray.

You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.” Lord Henry to Gray.

Ah, realize your youth while you have it. Don’t squander the gold of your days listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common and the vulgar. …” Lord Henry to Gray.

How sad it is! I shall grow old and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June… If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young and the picture that was to grow old! For that – for that – I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!” Dorian Gray, about his portrait. This is probably a cue, the cause of it all that is about to come…

I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. I am jealous of the portrait you painted of me. Why should it keep what I must lose? Every moment that passes, takes something from me and gives something to it. …” Gray to Basil, in tears, burying his face in the cushions.

And that’s it for today… or I won’t stop writing!

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