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What Does Chapter 5 Add To The Novel?

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Introduction

What Does Chapter 5 Add To The Novel? The novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray", was written in 1891 by Oscar Wilde. In the opening chapters of the novel, we meet the central character of Dorian Gray and two other main characters, Lord Henry Wotton and Basil Hallward. The opening few chapters focus on mainly these three people, however, once we reach chapter five, the novel shifts focus into another direction and focuses on the Vane family. We are introduced to Sibyl, the young actress Dorian is in love with. We also meet Sibyl's brother, James, who is protective of his sister and wary of the new love in her life, and their mother, Mrs Vane, a woman with whom theatre has overtaken her life. Chapter five explores different themes, such as Aestheticism vs. reality, and for the first time we are given multiple perceptions of the main character Dorian Gray. Chapter five is important to the novel as we are introduced to the new key figure of Sibyl Vane. As we learn about her, she becomes a reality to the reader. She is no longer just a person who was spoken about previously, Wilde now gives her depth, while creating understanding and sympathy to her character. ...read more.

Middle

Mr Isaacs had been very good to us, and we owe him money." Their family is not rich; they rely on the help from Mr Isaacs to see them through, giving them help to pay off their debts and such. However, Sibyl is again trapped, she has to act in order to please Mr Isaacs and her mother, "He is not a gentleman, mother, and I hate the way he talks to me." She is not happy, again by partnering with Dorian, she feels that she may be able to break away from the plight she is in and help her family, especially as he is an aristocrat. The division of social classes is also shown through Sibyl herself, when she doubts Dorian really loves her, "But what does he see in me? I am not worthy of him... so much beneath him". In those times, classes married within their own class, it was unlikely for a upper class member to marry beneath him. Sibyl realises this, but disregards it soon after, again showing her naivety. In the opening chapters, the characters were all high members of society, now in chapter five, a total contrast is brought forwards. ...read more.

Conclusion

James warns Sibyl of Dorian also because of this. Firstly it could be said that he simply envies the wealthier position that he isn't privileged too. Secondly, he could simply see through Dorian's fa�ade, he has a predisposition to dislike gentlemen, especially since his father was one and he ended up abandoning his family. This strengthens the case of James being the, 'anti-hero', he is going against the one person that everyone likes; however he himself has an innate instinct of the true Dorian. He fears for his sister, even though he is young, James remains consistently protective of his sister. He continues trying to convince his love struck sister, "He wants to enslave you...beware". Quite rightly, Dorian simply uses Sibyl in his forthcoming journey. James also represents Dorian's apparent downfall, vowing to, "if he ever does you any wrong, I shall kill him", showing an explicit declaration to protect his sister, "If this man wrongs my sister, I will find out who he is, track him down, and kill him like a dog. I swear it." In conclusion, chapter five of the novel brings with it different themes and ideas which are highly significant to the rest of the plot. It shows the influence Dorian has over people while offering a view on new characters, which are part of the novel. ...read more.

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