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Top ten key quotes
Language analysis and context (if relevant)
1. 'Private room at the Bristol where dinner
Quote 8: The opium dens and the theatre , both in the lower class East end parts of
had been laid'
2. 'the dim roar of London was like the
London are described using hell imagery. The `tongues of fire' and the way the theatre is
bourdon note of a distant organ' described as a `pit' shows how they are presented as hell like and an awful place to live.
3. 'apricot coloured light of a Summer day in The quote `tongues of fire' directly links with the story of Faust where at the end he is
London' carried into hell by the devil, describing it as walking into the `tongues of fire'.
4. `"I went out and wandered eastward, soon
loosing my way in a labyrinth of grimy
Language analysis and context (if relevant)
streets, and black, grassless squares."'
5. `He remembered wandering through Quote 4,5,8,10: All these quotes suggest the East End darkness of London. It's not just a
dimly-lit streets, past gaunt black- geographical location but a state of mind as in Gothic novels in 19th century they
shadowed archways and evil-looking explored graveyards and castles as a backdrop for vampire and villains , Dorian therefore
houses' is represented in this way, as a protagonist villain as he explores his sins in an `urban hell'
6. `this grey, monstrous London of ours, with in the east end. He appears to vanish into the London fog of the lower end which is a
its myriads of people, it's sordid sinners natural habitat for Gothic literature's criminals.
and its splendid sins'
7. `"I am too shabby," he answered,
frowning. "Only swell people go to the Language analysis and context (if relevant)
Park."' Quotes 2 and 3: These are quite contrasting from the `dim roar' and `bourdon note'
8. `Strange bottle-shaped kilns with the which gives the idea of it sounding very sinister and almost funeral like from the use of
orange fan-like tongues of fire' the simile of the `organ'. However later it contrasts with the `apricot coloured light'
9. `...that led them close to their shabby which is bright and warm especially on a `summer day'. Wilde uses setting in context to
home in the Euston Road' the situation, the dull and dark London is described in the 1st chapter to set up the
10. `Over the low roofs and jagged chimney- introduction of the calculating Lord Henry, whereas the 2nd bright quote is used in
stacks of the houses rose the black masts chapter 4 where Dorian is still quite innocent and is in love with Sibyl.
of ships',
What do the critics say about this theme?
· "Dorian's affairs in the nocturnal underworld of London are due to the fall in human psyche"- Carol Oates
· The West End upper classes are just "better at concealing their immorality" than the East End- Maho Hidak
· "While such passages serve t o establish a socioeconomic as well as a topographical distance between Mayfair and
Ratcliffe, ruling class and outcast, Wilde's novel in part suggests that such divisions are not rigid or absolute."- Robert
Mighall
· Dorian is what the age called a flâneur- a wealthy wanderer where he spends his time "botanizing on the asphalt",
observing the life of the streets like a scientist. But also being observed as the streets are which the flâneur displays
himself as. ­ Walter Benjamin (from the York notes)…read more

Slide 3

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Visual representation of the places in the novel.
West end East end
The circles represent the social spheres
The black represents the road between the two spheres…read more

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