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Abstract art piece representing a dichotomy between self-awareness and hedonism, inviting critical analysis

Ask AI: despite moments of self awareness dorian gray continues to live a life of hedonism. critically discuss the extent to which you agree with the above


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Question: despite moments of self awareness dorian gray continues to live a life of hedonism. critically discuss the extent to which you agree with the above

Asked by bella4

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"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde paints a detailed picture of a man, Dorian Gray, who chooses to lead a life of sheer hedonism, prioritizing personal pleasure over moral duties. He fails to take responsibility for his depravity, deceiving himself into believing that physical beauty and self-enjoyment are the epitome of life's bliss. However, throughout the narrative, there are moments of self-awareness where he recognizes the moral decay in his soul. Despite these moments, one can agree to some extent that Dorian continues his hedonistic lifestyle nonetheless. To analyze this, it's important to assess the instances of his self-awareness, and his responses to these revelations. A critical moment of self-awareness for Dorian occurs when he views his portrait, which bears the physical manifestation of his moral degradation, aging and growing grotesque with every sin he commits. Yet, he hides the portrait and continues his debauchery, demonstrating an unwillingness to face his true self and change his lifestyle. Another critical instance is when Dorian attempts at redemption after Sybil Vane’s death. He declares a sincere effort to be good and overturn his life of hedonism. Yet, the mirror of his soul (the portrait), depicts his attempt as a false redemption and another act of vanity, leading Dorian to continue his hedonistic way of life. One can argue that the knowledge of his moral decay only propels Dorian further into hedonism, as he attempts to escape the guilt and terror that his self-realizations provoke. This is evident in his response to his portrait’s ugliness which foils his external beauty and ultimately leads him to destroy the damning evidence, resulting in his own demise. However, while it is clear Dorian fails to effectively alter his course away from hedonism, it is important to note that these disturbing moments of self-awareness do incite conflict in him, indicating some degree of moral cognition and indicating that he isn’t entirely devoid of the capacity for self-improvement. In conclusion, Dorian Gray, despite occasional instances of self-awareness, ends up perpetuating a life of hedonism not necessarily because he seems incapable of change, but because he chooses not to change. This dichotomy of knowledge and action forms the tragic narrative of Dorian Gray's life. We can, therefore, agree to a certain extent that despite his self-awareness, Dorian Gray continues his unrepentant indulgence in pleasure and moral decadence.

Answered by gpt-4

Sept. 5, 2023, 11:38 p.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user bella4's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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