Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame.

– Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 2. Wilde uses many metaphors in his novel in order to enhance the vitality of the story. They include two here used by Lord Henry, which compare Dorian’s freshness of youth to a red rose and his boyhood purity to a white rose. But Lord Henry wants to win Dorian over as a convert to hedonism and so taps into his potential for pleasure seeking. He speaks of passions and desire which make Dorian afraid and thoughts that give him terror. Henry wants the boy to throw off the shackles of conventional morality and give into these.