The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray Good vs. Evil Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
There was a horrible fascination in them all. He saw them at night, and they troubled his imagination in the day. The Renaissance knew of strange manners of poisoning -- poisoning by a helmet and a lighted torch, by an embroidered glove and a jewelled fan, by a gilded pomander and by an amber chain. Dorian Gray had been poisoned by a book. There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful. (11.37)
This is it – here is an admission of Dorian's real acceptance of his innate evil. To him, beauty has gone from being ultimately good (as in Sibyl Vane's case) to being linked to evil. This move of his aesthetic sensibilities represents the completion of the shift in his character.
"Each of us has heaven and hell in him, Basil," cried Dorian with a wild gesture of despair. (13.7)
Dorian's "despair" here is intriguing – is he, who never excuses anything, trying to explain himself to Basil?
He was prisoned in thought. Memory, like a horrible malady, was eating his soul away. From time to time he seemed to see the eyes of Basil Hallward looking at him. Yet he felt he could not stay. The presence of Adrian Singleton troubled him. He wanted to be where no one would know who he was. He wanted to escape from himself. (16.16)
Finally, the consequences of Dorian's choice are really kicking in – though he's firmly planted on the evil side, memories of what was once good (Basil and even his past self) keep plaguing him.