Reading comprehension

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And so the years passed. But time did not touch the face of Dorian Gray. That wonderful beauty never left him. He enjoyed the life of a rich and fashionable young man. He studied art and music, and filled his house with beautiful things from every corner of the world. But his search for pleasure did not stop there. He became hungry for evil pleasure. He was in love with the beauty of his face, and very interested in the ugliness of his soul.

After a while strange stories were heard about him. But when people looked at that young and good-looking face, they could not believe the evil stories. And they still came to the famous dinners at his house.

But behind the locked door at the top of the house, the picture of Dorian Gray grew older every year. The terrible face showed the dark secrets of his life. The heavy mouth, the yellow skin, the cruel eyes – these told the real story. Again and again, Dorian Gray went secretly to the room and looked first at the ugly and terrible face in the picture, then at the beautiful young face in the mirror.

Stories about him became worse. He was seen fighting with foreign sailors in bars; he was friendly with thieves. And in the houses of fashionable people, men would sometimes turn away when he entered the room. Women’s faces would sometimes go white when they heard his name.

As the months and years passed, Dorian Gray became afraid of the picture. He both hated it and loved it, and he feared that someone would discover his secret. He could not stay away from it for long. He wanted to be sure that the room was still locked and that the picture was still safe. He used to spend winters in a little house abroad, but now he no longer travelled outside England.

His fear grew stronger every year, and as the time passed, the face in the picture grew slowly more terrible.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde


Select the best of the four choices a), b), c), d) after each question:
1.What do we find out about Dorian Gray from the first paragraph?

a) He was more beautiful that ever in his life.

b) Education in music and art was his sole interests.

c) He longed to explore the dark side of pleasure.

d) His only concern was if he would get old.

2. How did people feel about Dorian Gray?

a) At first they ignored the rumours, but later on they all ignored him.

b) None of them ever believed the stories about Dorian Gray.

c) They suspected he had something hidden in his house.

d) The rumours made the men ignore him and women fear him.
3. Dorian Gray fought with sailors and hung out with thieves because:

a) he wanted to show that he was strong.

b) he was searching for a specific thrill in his life.

c) he wanted everyone to see him and talk about him.

d) that was very fashionable at that time.

4. The phrase ‘used to’ in the 5th paragraph means:

a) a habit in the past that is still true.

b) an unreal condition.

c) an imaginary situation

d) a habit in the past.
5. What is the overall impression you get from the text?

  1. Dorian’s ambivalent relationship with the painting.

  2. Dorian’s education.

  3. The habits of fashionable people.

d) The world of art

Ask a question about the underlined part of the following sentence.
6. He used to spend winters in a little house abroad.

__Where did he use to spend winters?

Answer this question of the text on your own words:
7. What kind of connection did Dorian Gray have with his portrait?


Find synonyms for these words and phrases in the text:
8. a) trendy fashionable (paragraph 1)

b) enjoyment pleasure (paragraph 1)

9. a) mean cruel (paragraph 3)

b) pale white (paragraph 4)

10. a) reveal discover (paragraph 5)

b) secure safe (paragraph 5)

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