As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy. But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novels drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wildes supposed aims, not least no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment.