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Lecture 2

ENGA10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Dover Beach, Iceberg, Blood Falls


Department
English
Course Code
ENGA10H3
Professor
Deirdre Flynn
Lecture
2

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Lecture 2
REM
- Theme: loss of faith or religion
- Rather than occupying the centre,The singer is huddled in the corner.
- Corner is where he feels lost, confused and alienated *but his corner si everyone’s spotlight+?
- Like DG, everybody else sees him in the spotlight
- Without his religion, lost his system of beliefs, don’t know if he can go on
- The song gestures to most dramatic crisis in 20th century: loss of in a single, commonly held
belief or loss in a transcendental certitude
- With this loss, any number of beliefs pour in to fill the void and calm the anxiety
- It is the belief that matters not god..> humans need to belief something to make order of the
world which otherwise border anarchy
Myths:
- Much like religion functioned prior to mid 19th century, these myths all forecast a state not yet
reached
- Myths of modernity
- Regardless of the content of our beliefs, whether it is on the sacred or secular, we will have
beliefs!--? What exactly is at stake in embracing different beliefs?
- How does the faith in transcedental differ from faith in imminent [secular]?
Dorian Gray- does the faith in transcedental differ from faith in imminent[secular]?
- Cautionary tail of effects of embracing faith in secular and embracing myths of modernity that
make secular seem transcendental..i.e perfection, progress. These are all things DG embrances
- Potential consequences in putting our faith in these myths that shore up our secular beliefs
- These consequences are not promising
Faith :
- confidence, reliance and trust ..often used ot refer to religion
- F & B have overlap: both involve something we choose to believe in the absence of evidence. Its
achoice.a choice in absence of evidence.
- Both stem from acceptance from external authority..
- Both as allowing to make mistakes and that allow us to see that these mistakes dotn
permanently cloud our future. We can do something and take corrective action..i.e promise not
to do again
- With complex series of overlapping beliefs, that constitutes a faith system.
- Faith : overarching narrative connecting distant events and suggests many ways of acting that
may not seem the best and easiest to act in a moment
- : provides us with a system of principles which are especially useful when we are confused,
unsure of what to do. These principles guide us in our actions and offers us as subtle basis of
conduct. Helps us prioritize decisions and helps us assess their value
- Secular structure than functions as belief system: GPA
- GPA is not god, it may seem to function that way, u can vow, appease, sacrifice, pray… but
nominating the GPA as something transcendent ,anything can take its place and replace your
GPA as transcendent system
Nobody ever sees him, it s mysterious, powerful figure everyone worships him. He is the base structure
trying to hide in the superstructures image of the gloriousness.
Paradox of 20th and 21st century: even if u lsoe your faith system, u are still left for a need to believe.

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What will u believe? We are still living amongst myths
Principles are guidelines to choices and decisions that we consult independent of circumstances. What
we continue to do even if circumstances warrant some other action. If u dont stand for something, ull go
for anything.
Principles also have a liability. Apple company doesn’t necessarily act on principles but act on
capitalizing, capitalize on what is economically beneficial..if they always operated on principles, they
might lose a lot of opportunities and money..similarly us, we might miss opportunities..
Although when we might not want to act on principle, if we chose not to, it will not align with the
patterns of actions that we have taken thus far.
Religion is the best known example fo any faith and belief systems. They give us structurally
orchestrated terms of conduct.
In 19th century, faith in the transcedental was challenged from every dire.
2 people that had fundamental role in challenging religion
Darwin: N.S not god enables some animals to survive.
Marx: social superstructure naturlaizes,structuralizes carefully maintained inequalities. The place in
society is not created by god, reinforced by..
Others who challenged transcendental certitude : Freud and Nietzsceh
Freud
- Revolutionized relationship between psyche and soul
- Posited the existence of the unconscious: aspects of ourselves not available to conscious
thought but still had influence on it.
- The unconscious is real and shapes our daily reality but does so in a way that we cant be
conscious of. It takes the place of soul in religious god. But unlike the soul which connects us to
god, the unconscious is not at all separate from the secular
- It is constituted by repressed reactions to our secular rule. Our daily experiences change our
conscious and inturn our unconscious effects our conscious
- The unconscious isnot accessible
- Image of iceberg: how larger the unconscious is than conscious. The unconscious is all the
repressed urges
- Mirrors Marx’s ideological theory in a way: what is acceptable is the superstructure, what is
unacceptable is the base structure and repressed.also, those who have the power determine
what is acceptable and what should be repressed.
- Determining what is acceptable is not for benefit of the society or child but to protect their own
agendas and hide the exploitation of labor so that basestrucure is intact.
- Our unconscious is determined by mores and norms of day- thats how civilizing and socializing
works
- Therefore secular actually inavdes what previous called soul.
Nietszche: 4th final architecture of modernity
Dangerous slipplery slide in to secular
Declared dead of god- more of a warning
What he points is that our belief system centred on god has came apart and with this, we are left with
only secular domain dna vague sense that everything was our won destiny and have to be figured
out..<how shall we comfort ourself?>
Olay ad offered a sense of comfort
But this center cannot hold
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Loss of transcendental certitude! In ref to God before 19th century. His truth and essence werenot a
matter of this world at all. He was far beyond worl. Therefore, he could never be altered, tainted.
Secular vs Religious:
- Religion presume a truth beyond this world
- Secular presume a truth that is in and of this world= unconscious
Even with loss of trans certitude, there is still aneed to belief, relevant today in a world frantic and so
changing!
Dorian Gray:
- A cautionary tale that shows just how bad it can get bad without higher systems that go beyond
oneself
- Caution: Potential dangers of living Without higher principles and living in a world where the
older generations are exploiting the younger for their own pleasures instead of wisdom
- Time when only thing that matters is whatever feels good and whatever shores up one’s ideal
image
- Dorain is confused because Henry says beauty and youth are the only things that matter
- He wishes his painting was not made
- “I would give my sould for that”
- The dealw iht the devil keeps dorian looking charming and beautiful forver
- Because he looks beautiful and charming that’s what everyone presumes him to be
- At first, He assumes pleasure, youth and beauty as his belief system. 1st of 5 criticla moments
toward ruin of dorian..ruin of also others around him and encounters
- In each of these 5 moments, Dorian refuses to make himself vulnerable to anything other than
idealizing gaze of others
- He needs to shore up the idea that he is beautiful, young and perfect and satisfying to others
and as soon as people stop reflecting that to him, he discards them
- He aggressively maintain his image of himself because that his is basis of faith
- As long as they make him feel like an ideal, he keeps them around. As soon as they stop making
him feel like an ideal, he discards them and leaves a slew of recked people wherever he goes
- Damage of insisting on youth and beauty does all the time: star and celebrities
Celebrities:
- Drugs mimick the constant sensation that they have been told has value
- Lohan:she tries to fulfil what are unsatiable demands of others.exhaustion and feels alone and
unloved because she is being used by others.
- Used up for their youth and beauty
- Adults around them manipulate them for youth and beauty. They say” you can be perfect and
satisfying to everyone. They push them to focus on external mythic perfectability
- They have no idea of who they are aside from what everyone else wants them to be
- Rather than helping their child to develop the ability to make sense of their reality as imperfect,
they push on to them a illusion
Dorian Gray
- He chooses various forms of belief one after another, sensation etc all based on immediate need
for pleasure or avoiding displeasure
- No critical ability to guide him, no traditional wisdom to guide hime
- What he has are immediate selfish impulses of henry and basil to guide him; effects of following
secular belief system
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