ENGA10 lecture one.docx

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Garry Leonard

General: Marx suggested the opposite: the rich were rich because they exploited the poor and lived off their efforts, and profited from their suffering, and had no motivation, therefore, to do anything to alleviate it. The loss of transcendental certitude makes the establishment of morals impossible since morals assume a transcendental truth (unlike ethics which is based on treating others as you would wish to be treated, with no appeal to a higher, incorruptible authority. Efficiency became a euphemism for brutal and ruthless. Conscience was a liability, and so it was put away, just like dorian Grays portrait, so it could not slow down progress. Dorian Grey: The Picture of Dorian Gray, where a young, handsome man, while having his portrait painted, is told by an older man to "hang on to his youth" because he will be of little interest to anyone once he loses his physical charm. Terrified by this prospect, Dorian wishes the portrait could grow old and he would stay forever as charming looking as he is now. Mysteriously, the wish is granted. dorian ceases to age or show any sign of care of vice on his features. but the portrait, hidden now in the attic where he spent his lonely childhood, grow uglier and uglier as dorian treats people with as if they were things to be manipulated as long at they bring pleasure, and discarded as soon as they cease to do so. Dorian destroys virtually everyone he meets because they "believe" in his perfection, and when he proves hollow, the disillusionment is devastating. They mistake his regard for them as proof of their own self-worth, and when he turns from them with disgust the first time they fail to flatter him, they are unable to recover. This is what I call "the vampiric relationship of Self to Other" With a little blackmail, Dorian Gray is even able to make disappear the body of a man he has murdered in cold blood. True, the man who was coerced into doing this killed himself some time later--obviously he hadn't locked his portrait in an attic, and was done in by his conscience, but dorian gray has eliminated his conscience -- his soul --by putting it somewhere where neither he nor anyone else has to look at it. dorian Gray puts Lord Henry in that position. Lord Henry has an overall philosophy about why it is Ok to be shallow and live for the moment. dorian trusts that Lord Henry has worked out all the implications of such a philosophy, and he does so because he is eager for the relief from "the burden of freedom". In Lord Henry's philosophy, the purpose of free choice is to pursue pleasant sensations and avoid unpleasant ones. Such a view necessarily can only see other people as bit players in the pageant of one's own enjoyment. Free choice replaces belief as a catalyst for choosing one course of action over another, but free choice does not prioritize your choices for you--belief does that. For Lord Henry, dorian Gray is an experiment. In a system where there may be no God, the temptation to act like one is strong. What excited Lord Henry is watching his influence on dorian Gray. Rather bored with his own life, Lord Henry amuses and entertains himself with watching Dorian live according to his, Lord Henrys, principles. Basil hallward is not much better. Although he appears to not be the bad influence on dorian Gray that Lord Henry is, his fault is he fails to exert any influence at all. Both Lord Henry and Basil use Dorian, each in different ways. Lord Henry uses him to test his philosophy, but so does Basil, in that his philosophy is we should simply strive for beauty and perfection and ignore or deny anything that suggests there is a dark side. One way to hold all of Dorian Gray in your head is to consider Four moments where Dorian Gray feels, briefly, uncertain about his capacity to live a meaningful, ethical life. In each instance, he panics and gives himself over further to the "addiction" of letting the painting absorb the intolerable feelings of his actions and render him immune to any feelings about their consequences. The failure in the moment is the same in all four in the sense that Dorian never got any guidance or help from anyone--not parents, not grandfather, not Basil or Lord Henry. Everyone he might have had a right to depend on used him to further their own ends--this relates to the vampiric relationship between self and other. It is inevitable that Dorian would become like the people who mistreated him. He becomes an illustration of a "falcon that cannot her the falconer" as well as the consequence of that where "the best lack all conviction and the worst are filled with a passionate intensity". In the end , Dorian's "rough beast" slouches toward Bethlehem to be born" and he is found dead--the knife he used to stab the painting in his own chest. and he is found dead. The portrait is wiped clean and he is found disfigured and loathsome-- First Moment: As he stood gazing at the shadow of his own loveliness, the full reality of the description flashed across him. Yes, there would be a day when his face would be wrinkled and wizen, his eyes dim and colourless, the grace of his figure broken and deformed. The scarlet would pass away from his lips and the gold steal from his hair. The life that was to make his soul would mar his body. He would become dreadful, hideous, and uncouth. As he thought of it, a sharp pang of pain struck through him like a knife and made each delicate fibre of his nature quiver. He felt as if a hand of ice had been laid upon his heart. ---------------------------------------------- . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that -- for that -- I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!" Second moment: (After he has ruthlessly rejected Sibyl Vane, but before he knows she is dead and he cannot right the wrong} There were opiates for remorse, drugs that could lull the moral sense to sleep. The portrait was a visible symbol of the degradation of sin. Here was an ever-present sign of the ruin men brought upon their souls. (When he realizes he cannot undo it, he detaches himself from any connection to the event): After the death of SV dorian Grey, explain how he had done something wrong, he planned on taking her back, but she died. he says do you know the trouble Im in, there is nothing to keep me straight. When he tells lord Henry, he dismantles it, and tells him they are like a beautiful Greek tragedy, and basically tells Dorian to forget about her cause she never lived. After sometime Dorian Gray looked up. "You have explained me to myself, Harry," he murmured with something of a sigh of relief. "I felt all that you have said, but somehow I was afraid of it, and I could not express it to myself. How well you know me! But we will not talk again of what has happened. "But suppose, Harry, I became haggard, and old, and wrinkled? What then?" For a moment, he thought of praying that the horrible sympathy that existed between him and the picture might cease. It had changed in answer to a prayer; perhaps in answer to a prayer it might remain unchanged. And yet, who, that knew anything about life, would surrender the chance of remaining always young, however fantastic that chance might be, or with what fateful consequences it might be fraught? --------------------------------------------- Third Moment Bail confront Dorian gray about all the stories he has heard about Dorian Gray. Basil asked dorian Gray to deny all the convictions placed on him. Basil says he couldnt place a judgnment on Dorian Gray until he saw i soul, not knowing that portrait was a representation of Dorians Grays soul. During the moment Dorian Gray felt a fearful relief that someone other than himself would come to acknowledge his portrait. As Basil is in disgust of this picture he is devasted and heartbroken of what he sees. He encourages Dorina Gray to pray, but Dor
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