Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Poor Basil… - Dorian Gray Chapter XII-XIII

(p. 169-185)

What I like…

The more I digest this story, the more I like the character of Basil Hallward, the talented painter. He is a kind-hearted man, it’s for sure. From chapter XII-XIII it became clearly how he dearly loved Dorian Gray. Although Dorian had avoided him, Basil still cared about his dear friend’s reputation and his soul. When Basil finally saw the truth, how his friend soul was corrupted, Basil did not leave him. He did not look at Dorian with disgust, he asked him to pray together with him, to try to ask God for repentance. That’s what I call a true friendship!

can you guess which one is Basil? :)

What it's all about...

At one foggy night Dorian walked passed Basil on the way home. The latter had wanted to see Dorian for a serious matter. Basil had heard lately from his friends about Dorian’s bad reputation; that many of his intimate friends ended up in bad scandals; that many noblemen avoided him at the club. To all of them Basil had always stood up for his dear friend, for how a man with such beautiful innocent face could possibly did all the evil things they had accused him for? Basil then said that he must see Dorian’s soul before able to provide any answer. Here Dorian challenged Basil to really look into the depth of his soul, which Basil—I think out of curiosity—accepted.

Upstairs they went, to the old study room where Dorian kept the painting. And for the first time other people looked at the corrupted-painting of Dorian Gray. In such a horror, Basil asked Dorian to pray with him, asking repentance from God, in a desperate try to release his dear friend’s soul from evil’s trap. Then what Dorian did? It was so terrible, that I won’t spoil it here…

My random thoughts...

It’s all started from idolatry
I kept thinking of what had started Dorian’s soul corrupting. Was that Lord Henry? Or was it Basil? At first I think it was Lord Henry, for it was he who had first influenced the innocent Dorian. But after reading this chapter, I have another thought. Was it not the painting that had begun all of it? It was the painting who intrigued Lord Henry to the soul of Dorian Gray (after seeing it in Basil’s studio – chapter 1). It was the same painting that at first planted the idea of immortal beauty and youth to Dorian’s mind. And that painting had been produced from a man’s idolatry to his model. I think it’s because Basil adored Dorian, that he could paint him in a perfect beauty. Idolatry is often dangerous because it persuades the idol to worship mortal things, and with that, he is very susceptible to negative influences and temptations.

Did Basil deserve the punishment?

I worshipped you too much. I am punished for it. You worshipped yourself too much. We are both punished.

I think so (although what Wilde did to him was rather too cruel…or not? At least Basil didn’t have to bear the pain any longer..). No living creature deserves worshipping besides God.

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