You are watching: What contrast does lord henry make between basil and dorian
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M.A. Indigenous Chapman University
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lord Henry and Basil basically represent both sides of Dorian Gray. They are foils and mirrors the one another; that is, they are similar, yet in other ways they are different forces the pull Dorian in different directions. Most importantly, they room both key agents that move the plot forward.
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Lord Henry and also Basil basically represent both sides of Dorian Gray. They are foils and also mirrors the one another; that is, they room similar, yet in other means they are various forces the pull Dorian in various directions. Many importantly, they room both key agents that relocate the plot forward.
Basil, a humble painter and also friend the the "fashionable set," defines himself much as any artist of the time might:
You know we bad artists have actually to show ourselves in culture from time come time, just to remind the public that we are not savages.
This snippet is far-ranging because it reflects us the Basil is a product that his class system, one which totally separates people based on their social standing, money, possessions, and also family name.
As such, Basil is aware that that belongs to a reduced "rank" in society, and, by default, that is vulnerable to organize his "betters"—that is, those through money and titles—at a higher esteem 보다 he should.
We watch that he has no problem understanding the there is a power structure in culture when that accepts Dorian"s constant snubbing that him once Dorian meets mr Henry. It is virtually as if the expects Dorian to be mean and also cold to him, only due to the fact that Dorian has the finest of every little thing going because that him: looks, youth, beauty, class, fortune, and also the support of high society.
Hence, those are Basil"s key traits that different him from lord Henry: his understanding of being of a lower rank, his willingness to provide in come the higher ranking, and also the fact that his love because that Dorian carries a heavy pathos, i beg your pardon is no surprising coming from one artist with a dramatic sensibility and also a propensity for nostalgia.
Basil shows that he additionally has a deeply held sense of principles when he tells Dorian, upon see the real photo of Dorian Gray in thing 13,
Pray, Dorian, pray. . . . "Lead united state not right into temptation. Forgive united state our sins. Wash away our iniquities." Let us say that together. The prayer of your pride has been answered. The prayer of your repentance will be reply also. I worshiped you as well much. I am punished because that it. You worshiped yourself too much. We room both punished.
We might argue that Basil to represent the part of Dorian Gray that can still it is in redeemed. Countless times Basil says to Dorian to clock himself, to no be typical to Sybil Vane, come take an excellent guidance. Basil is by no way perfect, but he is certainly redeemable.
Lord Henry is the opposite. The is affluent (or lives over his means, anyway) and titled, and also as together he is additionally hedonistic, feels licensed has been granted to everything, and is complete of himself. He has actually no redeeming qualities, as he is not simply amoral, however verging ~ above immoral. He cares nothing because that the deaths of civilization in the novel, an especially Sybil Vane. The goes as far as sustaining Dorian"s carelessness. From the first time he meets Dorian, lord Henry seems to it is in constantly fluttering around him, advocating for his very own hedonistic ideals, nearly as if he desires to take it a item of Dorian through him.
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What renders these personalities comparable is that they each develop a compulsive infatuation through Dorian. The reader can plainly sense deeply homoerotic undertones in their dynamics through Dorian. Basil worships Dorian, and Lord Henry go too, yet Lord Henry is too complete of self to give himself completely to Dorian. Therefore, money, class, and also their view of morality are the basic differentiating factors in between Basil and Lord Henry in relation to Dorian.