Book Notes Chapter 16 Notes from The Picture of Dorian Gray

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The Picture of Dorian Gray Chapter 16

Dorian rides in the hansom and thinks about where he is going: an opium den. It takes a long time, and he recalls what Lord Henry had said to him so long ago, that the only way to cure the soul was through the senses. "Innocent blood had been split. What could atone for that? Ah! for that there was no atonement; but though forgiveness was impossible, forgetfulness was possible still, and he was determined to forget, to stamp the thing out, to crush it as one would crush the adder that had stung one." Chapter 16, pg. 210

Topic Tracking: Beauty 10

Dorian exits onto the dark street, finds a broken down house, and enters. There are people in various drug-induced states all around him. He finds Adrian Singleton, whom he is said to have ruined, and briefly wishes Adrian weren't here, so he could be anonymous. A woman comes up and tries to talk to him, and he brushes her aside and gives her money. He tells Adrian that he is going to a different place, where the opium is better, and tells Adrian to let him know if he needs anything. As he is leaving, the woman calls him "Prince Charming." A sailor hears this, gets up, and follows him out.

Dorian walks along thinking of his sins and of the life that Adrian now has. As he is about to enter the other opium den, James grabs him. He has been looking to revenge Sibyl's death, trying to find a man by the one thing he knows, that he was called "Prince Charming." He gets out a gun and tells Dorian that he has one minute to atone for what he has done. Thinking quickly, Dorian asks him how long ago his sister was killed; when James says eighteen years, Dorian shows him his face. James sees that Dorian could not be more than twenty years old, apologizes for the mistake, and walks away. The woman from the first place comes up to James in the street and asks why he didn't kill him; James tells her about the mistake, and she tells him that Dorian first came here almost twenty years ago, and that he made a deal with the devil to keep his youth. At these words, James runs back to find Dorian, but he is gone.

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