The Picture of Dorian Gray: chapter 9

1. Why is Basil appalled at Dorian’s attitude?

Because Dorian is evidently indifferent to Sibyl’s death.

2. How does he explain it?

He attributes it to Lord Henry’s influence.

3. Why does Dorian feel safe about the investigation?

Because Sibyl never knew his name.

4. What does Dorian refuse Basil (p. 129)?

To sit again for Basil to paint another picture.

5. What does Dorian refuse Basil (p. 130)?

To see Dorian’s portrait.

6. What terrifies Dorian (p. 131)?

Basil wanting to show his portrait at an exhibition.

7. Why does Basil feel the picture is so special (p. 132-3)?

Because he thinks it reflects his special admiration of Dorian.

8. What did Dorian expect instead of this confession?

The revelation of the magic power of his portrait.

9. What is paradoxical in Dorian’s reaction to Basil’s confession (p. 133-4)?

Dorian is relieved that Basil doesn’t know about the picture, although he expected an explanation about it.

10. Quote one sentence justifying the idea that Lord Henry’s aestheticism can be called a philosophy (p. 128).

“To become the spectator of one’s own life (...) is to escape the suffering of life.”

11. What is paradoxical or ironic in Basil’s disappointment at not being able to see his picture?

His picture is no longer what he thinks it is and what he likes it for being. If he saw it, he wouldn’t see the picture he wants to see and he would be very disappointed instead of being gratified.