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What Does The Reader Learn About The Three Main Characters In The Opening Chapter Of, "The Picture Of Dorian Gray"?

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What Does The Reader Learn About The Three Main Characters In The Opening Chapter Of, "The Picture Of Dorian Gray"? Oscar Wilde wrote the novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray", in 1891. When first published in, "Lippincott's Monthly Magazine", it was criticised for being immoral and provoked a response in Britain. It follows the story of young, Dorian Gray, who when realises his good looks will eventually leave him after witnessing the result of a portrait of himself, he exchanges his soul for endless youth and beauty. In the opening chapter, we are made known of three main characters, Basil Hallward, the artist who paints Dorian's portrait, Lord Henry Wotton, Basil's witty friend who eventually becomes close with Dorian and the main character himself, Dorian Gray, a handsome young gentlemen of society. The first chapter starts off in the residence of Basil Hallward. At once we can tell that the man inhabiting here is of an artistic nature, the place described as, "the studio", a typical place where artists work. We can tell that Basil takes care of his home, it's, "filled with the rich odour of roses... the heavy scent of the lilac... delicate perfume", giving the impression of a very rich, fragrant home, filled with elegance. We are then introduced to Basil himself, "whose sudden disappearance some years ago caused, at the time, some public excitement and gave rise to so many strange conjectures". ...read more.


A mysterious habit, although described as, "romantic", it could demonstrate that Basil likes to keeps to himself. The conversation continues with Dorian remaining the key topic, letting us know that Basil regards him in a very high light, "he is all my art is to me now". A powerful statement, Basil's passion in life, seems to be his art, therefore saying that Dorian has consumed his passion. This tells us that Dorian must be an important figure in Basil's life. Dorian to Basil is, "more than a sitter", He seems to have changed his life, "Since I met Dorian Gray... I see things differently, I think of them differently". This suggests that Dorian has great power of Basil's life, not necessarily in a obvious known way, but a kind of power that Basil only knows he has, and this gentlemen has changed the artists life. This is supported further on as Basil reminisces about a great piece of artwork he had created, when a buyer offered him a great deal of money for it, but still he refused to sell it. He admits that the only reason it was such a great piece of artwork is because, "Dorian Gray sat beside me. Some subtle influence passed from him to me", this again informs us that Dorian has become some sort of muse to Basil, and regards Dorian as a great person, even showing affection for him. ...read more.


they all appreciate me", ready whenever he needs a favour. Lastly, we come across Dorian Gray, who does not actually appear in the first chapter, however through Basil we are able to gain an insight into his character. The first introduction of Dorian is from his looks on the painting, "A young man of extraordinary personal beauty". The word, "extraordinary", provides the notion that Dorian is not just a handsome person, but holds amazing attractiveness. Further visual description of Dorian is given from the opinion of Lord Henry. "This young Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves...he is a Narcissus". An Adonis, from Greek mythology, is defined as a man who was loved by women all around, including the Greek idols of Aphrodite and Persephone. Even through just viewing a portrait of Dorian, Henry uses this powerful simile to show how beautiful he believes this man to be. The word, "Narcissus", provides a insight into the rest of the play, a Narcissus referring to, "a beautiful young man who fell in love with his own reflection", which is, what indeed happens to Dorian Gray himself. In conclusion, through the opening chapter of the novel, we are introduced to three of the main characters, and although not all are introduced directly, we are able to get an impression of the characteristics and qualities that each personality possesses. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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