Free Study Guide for The Picture of Dorian Gray: Book Summary |
Basil begins to believe it is true and then realizes what it means. It means that all that is said of Dorian is true and that his reputation isnít even as bad as he is. He can hear Dorian sobbing as he begins to pray. He asks Dorian to join him in prayer. He says Dorian worshipped himself too much and now they are both punished. Dorian tells him itís too late. Basil insists that it isnít. He begins to pray. Dorian looks at the picture and suddenly feels an overwhelming hatred for Basil. He sees a knife lying nearby and picks it up. He walks over and stands behind Basil and stabs him in the neck several times. When he is finished, he hears nothing but blood dripping. He goes to the door and locks it. He is horrified to look at Basilís body.
He goes to the window and sees a policeman outside and an old woman. He tries not to think about what has happen. He picks up the lamp because he knows the servant will miss it from downstairs, and he goes downstairs, locking the door behind him. Everything is quiet in the house. He remembers that Basil was supposed to leave for Paris that night and had even sent his heavy things ahead of him. No one had seen him come back inside after he left his house earlier that evening. No one will begin to wonder about him for months to come. He puts Basilís bag and coat in a hiding place, the same place where he hides his disguises. Then he puts on his own coat, goes outside, and knocks on the door. His servant opens the door and he asks him what time it is. Then he tells him to wake him at nine the next morning. The servant tells him Mr. Hallward came by and Dorian exclaims over having missed him.
Inside his library again, he picks up the Blue Book and finds the name of Alan Campbell. He says this is the man he wants.
The subject of the portrait kills the artist. Here, the fateful triangle among the three main characters of the novel is broken when Dorian Gray murders Basil Hallward. Basil, as much as the portrait, has served as Dorianís conscience. Dorian has avoided Basil over the years of his explorations of the aesthetics of evil. Here, Basil finally comes to him to confront him. The reader finds out all the specific charges against Dorian. He has ruined the reputations of young men and women, some of whom have even committed suicide. He is ostracized by all the best families of London.
Dorian seems relieved to be able to share the horror of the portrait with Basil, but when Basil sees it, recognizing what it means about Dorian, he wants Dorian to change his ways and repent. Dorian cannot face this possibility and kills Basil instead.
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. 09 May 2017