The Picture of Dorian Gray Chapters 5 - 7 Summary

Sibyl Vane has told her mother of her love for Dorian Gray, but her mother's reaction is not one she had hoped for. She wanted her mother to be happy for her, instead her mother is more concerned with the money they owe Mr. Isaacs. One reason she is dubious about Sibyl's new love, is Sibyl does not know Dorian's name, she refers to him as Prince Charming.

Sibyl is bursting with joy and confidence her love will never leave her or cause her distress. Her mother is not so sure, but if this Prince Charming has some money then maybe she will encourage the relationship.

Sibyl's brother, James, who is sixteen, is sailing to Australia that day to seek his fortune. This is the plan Sibyl's mother has made for her son, and he seems willing to leave her household. Sibyl is unhappy about the separation from her brother, so she begs him to go on one last walk to the park with her before he boards his ship.

There in the park the two discuss Sibyl's relationship with Dorian. James is not at all pleased with this man, who is suddenly the source of all happiness for his sister. James is jealous and distrustful of Dorian. He warns her that if Dorian causes her any pain, he will come back and kill Dorian. Sibyl does not take her brother's threats to heart, as she thinks he is just venting his anger about her love of Dorian.

Back at the house just before James leaves to board his ship, he asks his mother the question she has been dreading for years. He asks her if she was ever married to his father. The answer is no, James father was a married man, but his mother swears he was a good man. He reminds her to never tell Sibyl and he repeats his threat towards Dorian, before he finally leaves for Australia.

That evening Lord Henry and Basil Hallward meet at a restaurant to dine with Dorian. Basil has not yet heard about Dorian's engagement to Sibyl. He is shocked at this sudden turn in events and he chides Dorian for not telling him of it himself. Dorian, who has arrived late for dinner, is not ashamed of his actions, instead he is brimming with the joy which love has infused him.

Lord Henry is still playing his little social experiment at Dorian's expense. He would like to see him marry Sibyl to observe how Dorian reacts, when he falls in love with someone else. Dorian does not know of Lord Henry's scheme, instead he tells him he is no longer under his influence regarding life and how to live it.

Basil is again taken aback after being told he would accompany Lord Henry and Dorian to the theater, to see Sibyl in a play. He is not in the mood to see this interloper to his life, but he goes along anyway. As the three men ready to leave, Basil is informed he must ride in a hansom by himself, because there is not enough room in Lord Henry's brougham. As he follows the two men to the theater, Basil realizes the relationship he once had with Dorian is past. Lord Henry and Sibyl Vane have taken his place in Dorian Gray's world.

At the theater Dorian is anxious to have his friends see Sibyl as he does. They agree she is very beautiful, but her performance that night is wooden. The exquisite actress who Dorian has fallen in love with is gone and in her place is the most inept actress to stand on stage. Dorian is embarrassed to see her this way, but he is even more embarrassed to have his friends see her poor acting. It is so bad that Basil and Lord Henry leave before the intermission is over.

After the play ends, Dorian goes backstage to see Sibyl to find out what is wrong with her. She is ecstatic about her performance. She explains to Dorian that before she and he kissed, she thought the world was the characters she played, but now she recognizes them to be the false world they truly are. She tells him she no longer wants to act, all she wants is to become his wife.

Dorian cannot believe what he is hearing. The reason he fell in love with her was due to her talent and her beauty, but without the talent he no longer loves her. Despite her tears and begging, Dorian leaves her and tells her he never wants to see her again.

The rest of the night he wanders the streets of London watching the people as they go about their lives, with no real purpose to his wanderings. As morning comes he returns back to his home and in his bedroom sees the picture Basil has painted of him. But, the picture has changed. The expression on the face has changed, the mouth has a cruel smile on its lips. He is stunned and then he remembers the wish he had made at Basil's, which is the picture would age and take on it his sins, while he remained young and beautiful forever. He now wonders if this wish has come true. In a turn of emotions he decides he has been cruel to Sibyl and now he wants to marry her and live with her forever.

Dorian feels the joys of love and the cruelty of hatred in these chapters. He also notices for the first time the changes in the painting, which correlate to his own behavior. Meanwhile, Sibyl is left distraught after Dorian breaks off their engagement.

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