The Picture of Dorian Gray Questions: Chapters 15-18 (Paranoia and James Vane)

Chapters 15-18 (Paranoia and James Vane) Lord Henry: “I admit that I think it is better to be beautiful than to be good. But on the other hand no one is more ready than I am to acknowledge that it is better to be good than to be ugly.” (p161) Is Lord Henry’s belief in the freedom of the individual truly evil? Or does Dorian misconstrue it? Does Lord Henry actually practice the ideas he espouses? Does he understand the real life consequences his ideas would have, or does he exhibit a sort of naïveté? Dorian’s scandalous behavior shocks his peers, yet he remains welcome in social circles? Why? What is Wilde suggesting about “polite” London society?

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