The Picture of Dorian Gray

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James ‘Jim’ Vane Character Analysis

The burly sailor brother of Sybil Vane and very different from his sister in experience and appearance. He is rough looking but very decent and seeks above all else to protect his sister. He threatens to kill whoever hurts her, and, avenging her suicide, follows and haunts Dorian. His face becomes a symbol of the goodness that Dorian has destroyed.

James ‘Jim’ Vane Quotes in The Picture of Dorian Gray

The The Picture of Dorian Gray quotes below are all either spoken by James ‘Jim’ Vane or refer to James ‘Jim’ Vane. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray published in 2003.
Chapter 5 Quotes

Mrs. Vane fixed her eyes on him, and intensified the smile. She mentally elevated her son to the dignity of an audience. She felt sure that the tableau was interesting.

Related Characters: Mrs. Vane (speaker), James ‘Jim’ Vane
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:
Sybil Vane has been excitedly telling her mother about Dorian, emphasizing his extraordinary beauty and wealth, when her brother arrives. Jim Vane is the opposite of Dorian, and a huge contrast to his talented, ethereal sister. When he enters the room, Mrs. Vane envisions the moment as a "tableau" and positions Jim as the audience. This passage once again highlights the centrality of art in the play, showing that artistic performance is so important to the Vane family that Mrs. Vane imagines real life as a piece of theatre. Of course, this also lends a sense of inauthenticity to the behavior of Mrs. Vane and the other characters; by seeing all her actions as a performance, Mrs. Vane reveals her preoccupation with being watched by others, adding to the theme of obsession with appearance. 
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James ‘Jim’ Vane Character Timeline in The Picture of Dorian Gray

The timeline below shows where the character James ‘Jim’ Vane appears in The Picture of Dorian Gray. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...young, that she doesn’t even know Prince Charming’s real name, but also that her brother James Vane is leaving for Australia, and it is inconsiderate to overwhelm the occasion. (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Jim arrives on cue. He is a thick-set young man, very unlike his fine-featured sister. As... (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Women and Men Theme Icon
...the difficulty of his choice to go to sea instead of working as a solicitor. Jim dismisses the issue. His real concern is Sybil. Mrs. Vane assures him that she will... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
As Jim and Sybil take their walk, Jim is conscious of the difference in their appearance. Sybil... (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
Jim asks Sybil about her ‘new friend’ and Sybil tells him everything, saying that now she... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
Women and Men Theme Icon
They sit and watch the passers-by and Jim begins to talk of his own plans, but Sybil suddenly thinks she sees ‘Prince Charming’... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
The atmosphere is tense between Jim and his mother at dinner until Jim asks his mother outright whether she and his... (full context)
Chapter 17
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
...eating with his guests. As he dresses he remembers that it was the sight of James Vane ’s face at the window that had caused him to faint, and terror fills his... (full context)
Chapter 18
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
The sight of James Vane tortures Dorian the next day. Every sound and sight seems to suggest his coming doom.... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
...the face of the body is revealed, Dorian sees for certain that the body is Jim Vane’s. Tears of relief come to his eyes. (full context)