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Past Group Reads > The Picture of Dorian Gray Chapters 1-10

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message 1: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Discuss chapters 1-10 here.


message 2: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
How is everyone doing with their reading so far? I am enjoying it so far. There seems to be a lot of close relationships with Dorian and Basil, and Dorian and Lord Henry, and Basil and Lord Henry and then Dorian and Sybil, so much that there is also a lot of jealousy, too. I am waiting to see how these all turn out as I continue reading. Any thoughts?


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (procrastisarah) | 6 comments Okay. I had a rainy Saturday, so I decided to cuddle up with Dorian and get ahead in my reading. Lord Henry has certainly ruined Dorian as a person; I feel like his encouragement of a Hedonistic lifestyle for Dorian will come back to bite him. At least I hope so. Basil seems to be the only good influence Dorian has, but he's making little headway.
Certainly, the end of chapter 10 indicates that Dorian has a lot further to fall. And I wonder about Sybil's brother; will he return and carry out what he threatened?


message 4: by Andrea (new)

Andrea There are portions of this book I have absolutely loved thus far, but also, there have been some rather tedious passages. There is one long chapter in particular (this may be after Chapter 10- I can't remember exactly) that contains, (in my opinion), virtually nothing other than rather excessively detailed descriptions of Dorian's pursued interests. I found this section to be tedious.


message 5: by Sankalp (new)

Sankalp | 2 comments I have finished reading 13 chapters till now. The book begins with the creation of a beautiful painting of protagonist Dorian.The following chapters introduce to more beauty in the form of his love,Sibyl and are filled with Wilde's trademark witty one-liners. Then Dorian's wish-cum-prayer gets fulfilled and this starts the process of his decadence. I second Andrea on the length of the chapter 11 as it feels a bit stretched but I feel author does it on purpose to highlight the profound influence the yellow book has on Dorian. But the book has taken a Gothic turn in chapter 13 (perhaps, something to do with its unluckiness) when Dorian commits something which was unthinkable(for me at least)


message 6: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Okay. I had a rainy Saturday, so I decided to cuddle up with Dorian and get ahead in my reading. Lord Henry has certainly ruined Dorian as a person; I feel like his encouragement of a Hedonistic l..."

I also feel that Lord Henry has ruined Dorian as a person and if it wasn't for his influence, Dorian might not have turned out as bad as he seems to be heading. I think that Basil has lost any influence that he may have had on Dorian at the beginning.


message 7: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "There are portions of this book I have absolutely loved thus far, but also, there have been some rather tedious passages. There is one long chapter in particular (this may be after Chapter 10- I ca..."

Even though chapter 11 does seem a bit long, I didn't find it tedious. I found it rather interesting to read about Dorian's pursuits. It shows an almost continuing search for something to fulfill his life, which I am wondering at this point in my reading if he ever does.


message 8: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton I have not read Oscar Wilde in a long time (I read The Importance of Being Earnest back in college) and had forgotten what it was like, but now I realize why I see so many lines from him on famous quotes websites. His dialogue abounds with philosophical observations on humanity, some outrageously provocative, while most have a lot of truth in them. I think his own view of human nature is reflected in the way that he has taken this innocent, pure young man (lots of emphasis on his innocence and purity) and essentially placed an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. With both influences drawing him, he chooses the dark side. He regards the portrait as a proxy that absolves him of culpability. I am in chapter 11 now, but I believe Jim will come back and make good his promise. That, also, was emphasized enough to make it significant.


message 9: by Denise (new)

Denise (drbetteridge) | 47 comments I know the story, so there are no surprises, but this is the first time I've read the book. I'm absolutely loving it. It's well written, interesting, and the words and descriptions are simply beautiful. Even if it weren't a great story, it would be worth reading the delicate, flowing words.


message 10: by Lois (new)

Lois (loisbennett) | 22 comments I was stunned right from the first page of this book when I read it a few years ago. I had hoped to re-read it with you guys but just haven't had the time. Wilde was an expert at creating beautiful, melodic sentences, and I think the premise of the story is every bit as relevant now as it was in its day...


message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark Young | 3 comments Finished the first 10 chapters and now I am intrigued. Eager to find out what happens next.


message 12: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments I just finished Anna Karenina and immediately started this one... I have to say, I don't know if that's just the era of writing or if the two authors have a very similar writing style, but I almost felt like I was just continuing AK in a lot of ways. Some of the philosophical discussions are similar, if more hedonistic in nature in Dorian Gray. I didn't realized how central people like Lord Henry were going to be for the shaping of Dorian's character, or that he was supposed to be such a model of a decent man in the beginning. I had only a vague knowledge of the book's content before starting. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.


message 13: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments Having finished chapter 10 now, I'm curious how the symbolism of the beautiful cloth over the portrait will play out. To me, it seems like any beautiful thing we use in life to cover the visible elements of our "sin". When the beautiful veneer is torn away, the ugliness of truth is revealed underneath. Then the thing that was so beautiful becomes ugly because it has been defiled in a way by the hideous truth it disguised and touched.

The yellow book is also interesting. It seems he is looking for things to control his view of the world and give him license for his depravity. Or maybe even a guideline for "how to be bad." I love how Lord Henry influences and shapes Dorian without ever having to be forceful...he merely makes suggestions and Dorian jumps at the chance, much like the suggestions of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Dorian is the one that ultimately makes the choices, though he is also choosing to fill his mind with immoral nonsense.


message 14: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Alana, I think your description of how Lord Henry influences Dorian is very accurate. It all comes very subtly in the form of suggestions almost trying to make him think he his coming up with it on his own. Dorian does seem to want an excuse for his depravity almost like saying " it is ok for you to be this way."


message 15: by Alana (last edited Jul 02, 2012 08:10PM) (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments Dolores, I also found that not only does he influence Dorian, but also never through the novel do we actually see Lord Henry DO any of the things he suggests to Dorian. He's curious about and proclaims the virtues of that lifestyle, but he never really delves into it himself, content to live vicariously, in a way, through Dorian's experiences, although I don't think he ever really knows those experiences in any detail.


message 16: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (dizzydee39) | 275 comments Mod
Alana wrote: "Dolores, I also found that not only does he influence Dorian, but also never through the novel do we actually see Lord Henry DO any of the things he suggests to Dorian. He's curious about and procl..."

Interesting! That is very true. I like the way you put it, "live vicariously, in a way, through Dorian's experiences"


message 17: by Andreia (new)

Andreia The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is one of my favourite books, I love the dialogues, the characters, the lack of values of the characters and their search for pleasure even if it is not obtained in a "correct" way.
I think Dorian's actions throughout the book are a result of the influence of Henry, who shapes Dorian's personality and way of living, and he ends up being what Henry wanted to be but wasn't brave enough to try to reach.
I believe it shows characters that we are supposed to be disturbed by and somehow dislike, but I ended up appreciating their contradictions.
Wilde is a great author, just the preface makes me melt because of how lovely it is.
This is a book I go back to, over and over again, due to how marvelously well written it is.


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