One month later, Dorian Gray is waiting at Lord Henry's for him to come home. He is impatient since he's been waiting for a while. Lord Henry's wife comes in and they chat for a while about music. She notices that he parrots her husband's views, as many people in her social circle do. Lord Henry arrives and his wife leaves. After Henry advises him not to marry, Dorian says he is too much in love to consider marriage. He is in love with an actress. He thinks of her as a genius. Lord Henry explains that women can't be geniuses because they are made only for decoration. He adds that there are only two kinds of women, the plain and the colored. Plain women are useful for respectability and colored women are useful for charming men. Dorian claims to be terrified by Lord Henry's views. Lord Henry pushes him to tell more about the actress.

Dorian says that for days after he met Lord Henry, he felt alive with excitement and wanted to explore the world intensely. He walked the streets staring into the faces of people to see into their lives. He decided one night to go out and have an adventure. He was walking along the street and was hailed to come into a second rate theater. Despite his repulsion for the caller, he went in and bought a box seat. The play was Romeo and Juliet. He hated all of it until Juliet came on stage and then he was entranced. Since that night he has gone every night to the theater. He met her on the third night and found her exquisitely innocent, knowing nothing at all of life but art.

He wants Lord Henry and Basil Hallward to come to see her the next evening. His plan is to pay her manager off and set her up in a good theater. Lord Henry invites him to dinner that evening, but he refuses, saying he has to see her perform Imogen. He leaves.

Lord Henry thinks about what he's learned. He thinks of Dorian Gray as a good study. He likes to study people like a scientist studies the results of an experiment. He thinks of Dorian as being his own creation. He had introduced his ideas to Dorian and made him a self-conscious man. Literature often did that to people, but a strong personality like his could do it as well. As he thinks over his thoughts, he's interrupted by his servant reminding him it's time to dress for dinner. As he arrives home that night, he finds a telegram on the hall table announcing that Dorian Gray was to marry Sibyl Vane.


A month later, the relationship between Dorian and Lord Henry has developed just as Lord Henry wished. Dorian has avoided Basil Hallward and has become a protégé (follower) of Lord Henry, quoting him in everything and looking to him for guidance on all his decisions. Lord Henry is a spectator. He is setting up Dorian Gray with what he thinks of as premature knowledge, so that Dorian will live his youth in the full knowledge that it is fading daily. He recognizes that Dorian will burn out and he doesn't seem at all affected by this. He isn't jealous of Dorian's new passion for Sibyl Vane. It adds to his pleasure as a spectator. He regards himself as something of a social scientist.

The bigotry of the late Victorians is brought out in this chapter, expressed by Lord Henry about women's inferior status as human beings and by Dorian Gray about the repulsiveness of Jews.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".