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Lord Henry ... 
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Post Lord Henry ...
Love him or hate him?


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Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:21 pm
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In the beginning I liked him. He seemed so easy going, if a little shallow. But as the story progressed, I began to notice the enormous impact he had on the people around him. His wife once said that all of his friends had the same ideas as him. And Lord Henry himself thought of Dorian as a psychological experiment, as he surely did about other people as well. It wasn't out of malice that he ruined Dorian's innocence. Just a sort of apathy, I guess. He didn't care enough about anyone for it to matter to him what became of them. When Sybil Vane died, he wasn't saddened like most people would be. It was simply poetic to him, and it entertained him for a bit. So by the end of the book I was quite dismayed at his behavior.



Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:41 pm
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I, myself have mixed feelings about him.

A nobleman and a close friend of Basil Hallward, who curiously refers to him as Harry. Lord Henry is perpetually armed and ready with well-phrased epigrams criticizing the moralism and hypocrisy of Victorian society. Urbane and witty; his pleasure-seeking philosophy of ' New Hedonism,' which espouses garnering experiences that stimulate the senses without regard for conventional morality, plays a vital role in Dorian's development.

Whether that is good or bad ... I can not say.


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Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:08 pm
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I am ambivalent about Henry. I think that Wilde uses Henry to critique society as it was then, and although he "vivisects" (his own description) others, he says that he had already done so to himself, which makes him rather enigmatic to me. What did he experience in his own life that drives his need to armour and distance himself against and from others so much? He exercises power over Dorian, yet Basil attributes this same power to Dorian over himself, considering how his art found meaning, a soul if you will, after knowing Dorian. Perhaps I will change my opinion about Henry by the end of the novel.



Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:37 pm
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I have to say of all the characters in the novel I like Lord Henry the best. I acknowledge his complete lack of empathetic behaviour yet what did he do really. He was adept at making a slippery slide for people to quickly fun afoul of their own natures, at least that is how it seems. I mean couldn't Dorian have said "no?" Or Basil just kept his mouth shut about Dorian's presence if he didn't want to share? Or Sybil, I mean really, what a mealy person she was. Not a back-bone amongst them really.

I suppose I am being hard on them but at some point one's distasters have to be one's own responsibility.

And I do love Lord Henry's sense of humor.


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