The Myth Of Perfection

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The Myth of Perfection

Perfection is a much sought-after quality, yet is completely impossible to

obtain. Because we do not have a clear definition of what perfection truly is,

when a person attempts to become "perfect", they are usually transforming into

what seems to be perfect to . In both "A Doll's House" and "The Metamorphosis",

we see that human beings cannot achieve a state of total perfection. When

Gregor Samsa, from "the Metamorphosis", attempts to be the perfect provider that

his family expects him to be, he inadvertently turns his life into an insectoid

existence. Likewise, when Nora from "A Doll's House" tries to live up to her

husband's expectations of a perfect wife, she builds up enough self-hate to

leave everything that she loves and start an entirely new life. Striving to be

this ideal person, like attempting to acquire any other impossible goal, is

damaging to the characters in both cases. The fortunes of these characters

illustrate the harm in attempting to achieve these impossible objectives.

As human beings, we have no conception of any absolute values, such as

perfection and imperfection or hot and cold. We can only perceive changes or

comparisons based on what we already know. Through experience, we can tell what

is hotter or colder, but never actually tell what the absolutes are. This is a

central aspect of what makes perfection impossible to achieve. What exactly is

perfection? Seeing as we have no inherent knowledge of what is perfect or

imperfect, these ideals are usually set by the expectations of others who are in

positions of control over us. Therein lies one of the fundamental dangers in

attempting to achieve perfection. When the aims and goals of our lives are

governed by an outside force, we are transferring a great amount of power over

ourselves to someone else who may not have the best intentions.

Those who have power over us, in most circumstances, will use it to their own

benefit. This is Gregor Samsa's main problem. He transfers control of his life

over to his family, who hardly had the best intentions for Gregor's well-being.

They merely wanted a way to get money and food to support themselves. With

Gregor working, his father has an excuse to continue doing nothing, and allows

the family to remain stagnant at the level that they are at. Directly and

indirectly, his family enforces the view that a son should work to support his

family and not himself. They did this by showing love and commending Gregor

when he brought them food and money, showing him that this was their idea of
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