The Picture of Dorian Gray

how do these two men diffet?

Examine the first conversation between Lord Haenry and Basil

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The novel begins in Basil Hallward's home, he's a well-known artist and the scene opens with a discussion between Basil and Lord Henry about his latest painting. Lord Henry Wotton is an amoral, hedonistic man, but he admires the painting and its subject. Lord Henry insists the painting should be exhibited, but Basil refuses because as he says, "he's put too much of himself in it." Lord Henry doesn't accept that however, and pushes Basil for a more satisfying reason.

On the spot, Basil Basil describes how he met his young subject Dorian at a party. Since, Dorian has an obsession. Basil sees him every day and declares him to be his sole inspiration. Basil reason for not exhibiting thae portrait is that it's become a form of idolatry.

Lord Henry suddenly remembers where he's heard of Dorian Gray before. His aunt had mentioned that Dorian promised to help her with charity work. At that moment, the butler announces that Dorian's arrival; Lord Henry immediately insists upon meeting him. Basil agrees, but also begs him not to try and influence Dorian in any way. Basil describes Dorian as having a “simple and a beautiful nature” that could easily be spoiled by Lord Henry’s cynicism.

This is where we see their difference. Basil's interest in the young man may possibly be romantic, but he idolizes Dorian for reasons he's hasn't quite figured out yet. Lord Henry, a well known deviate, is immediately interested because the reports he's had of Dorian are all 'good' reports. How much enjoyment could he have than to corrupt a young man of a simple and beautiful nature, who's good looking to boot.


The Picture of Dorian Gray