What exercise does Lord Henry find "terribly enthralling" in Chapter 3 of The Picture of Dorian Gray?  

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lord Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray finds the exercise of influence to be enthralling. This is not the beneficent influence of a friend interested in grooming your welfare or even the benign influence that sways your choice of hamburger over steak; it is the manipulative influence that intentionally alters and molds another human being into a shape not their own.

Lord Henry waxes lyrical about the joy of exercising influence on an individual who is charming though naive, frightened though full of wonder, and full of youth and beauty. He speaks of "playing" such an individual like an instrument and hearing the "echo" of his own thoughts and opinions returned from lips that never espoused such ideas before.

Lord Henry revels in "projecting" his soul into the being of and transporting his own "temperament" into heart of such an individual. He says that this sort of malevolent influence can create from a naive, simple charmer a "Titan or a toy," remembering that the Titan's were the powers that preceded and gave birth to the Greek pantheon of gods and a toy is as trivial a thing, to an adult's mind, as possible.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

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