ENGA10H3 Lecture 1: ENGA10 lec 1 notes

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Published on 12 Oct 2016
School
UTSC
Department
English
Course
ENGA10H3
Professor
ENGA10-LECTURE 1 NOTE-THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY BY OSCAR WILDE
Major themes:
Superstructure vs. Infrastructure
Vampiric relationship
Centre self (being in the spotlight) vs. cornered self
The loss of transcendental certitude
Superstructure vs. Infrastructure:
Superstructure (what you can see): Dorian gray’s youthful face is all everyone
sees throughout the novel
Vs.
Infrastructure (something out of sight, but which fuels the superstructure): His
painting is an infrastructure, it allows Dorain to be untouched by his sins, and his
youth to never decay
Throughout the novel Dorian pursues sensations at the expense of any ethical
thought or conscience (e.g. Says harsh things to Sibyl when she doesn’t pleasure
him anymore)
The loss of a transcendental being:
The 20th century marks the age of anxiety due to a loss of transcendental being
(i.e. God) Since we no longer collectively believe in agreed upon hierarchies (e.g.
God) we’re lost from fixed ideas, so we have the freedom to wonder, which
causes uncertainty leading us to feel anxious.
In short: the loss of transcendental being causes us anxiety
In Dorian Gray the loss of a transcendental being means loss of consciousness, so
Dorian doesn’t have to worry about a right or wrong, and so he lives a sensual
life, instead of a conscious one.
Wanting to be right and sure without any uncertainty is one of our urges in this
century
We either face reality at a loss of uncertainty or become numb to a conscience,
just like Dorian
The loss of transcendental being brings us to also the “age of science” but science
does not give us certainty or huge answer like “what’s after death?” or “is there
something after death?”
Vampiric relationship (in the 20th century):
We treat other people as something to be used, just like we treat any other
resources-this exchange is basically capitalism. We try to gain more than we
brought to the exchange (e.g Dorian Gray takes from people while they die and
wither like Sibyl Vane)
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Document Summary

Enga10-lecture 1 note-the picture of dorian gray by oscar wilde. Centre self (being in the spotlight) vs. cornered self. Superstructure (what you can see): dorian gray"s youthful face is all everyone sees throughout the novel. Infrastructure (something out of sight, but which fuels the superstructure): his painting is an infrastructure, it allows dorain to be untouched by his sins, and his youth to never decay. Throughout the novel dorian pursues sensations at the expense of any ethical thought or conscience (e. g. says harsh things to sibyl when she doesn"t pleasure him anymore) In short: the loss of transcendental being causes us anxiety. In dorian gray the loss of a transcendental being means loss of consciousness, so. Dorian doesn"t have to worry about a right or wrong, and so he lives a sensual life, instead of a conscious one. Wanting to be right and sure without any uncertainty is one of our urges in this century.

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