The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray Innocence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame -- "
"Stop!" faltered Dorian Gray, "stop! you bewilder me. I don't know what to say. (2.8)
Lord Henry suggests that even Dorian's pure, innocent young life is secretly full of hidden, shameful desires. That is to say, even Dorian isn't truly innocent.
"I am not laughing, Dorian; at least I am not laughing at you. But you should not say the greatest romance of your life. You should say the first romance of your life. You will always be loved, and you will always be in love with love. A grande passion is the privilege of people who have nothing to do. That is the one use of the idle classes of a country. Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is merely the beginning." (4.10)
At this early stage, Dorian still retains some of his boyish innocence – something that Lord Henry strives to take away from him.
"Sibyl? Oh, she was so shy and so gentle. There is something of a child about her. Her eyes opened wide in exquisite wonder when I told her what I thought of her performance, and she seemed quite unconscious of her power. I think we were both rather nervous. The old Jew stood grinning at the doorway of the dusty greenroom, making elaborate speeches about us both, while we stood looking at each other like children. He would insist on calling me 'My Lord,' so I had to assure Sibyl that I was not anything of the kind. She said quite simply to me, 'You look more like a prince. I must call you Prince Charming.'" (4.11)
Sibyl's innocence, like Dorian's own, is what makes her so very appealing.