The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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One’s pursuit of the good life can be altered by how much we allow ourselves to be influence by different ideas, groups, or individuals. We can suffer the dangers of egocentrism, which we see in God in America: The New Adam through the Spanish colonists and the Puritans. The other extreme we could suffer is complete conformity to someone else’s vision of the “good life” which is shown in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. In God in America: The New Adam, egocentrism, believing that our vision and ideas are the only truths, can inhibit us from opening ourselves from new ideas and cultures and can even cause gregarious tension and discord between two different cultures of people. The Spanish missionaries and conquistadors journeyed to America, but adamantly preserved their beliefs and even forced it violently on the native Pueblos. The Pueblos revolted against the oppressive force of the Spanish Catholicism under the inspiration of Popé. This bloody epidemic in American history shows that people will not sit idly by when someone else attempts to force their beliefs down their throats. By not allowing ourselves to listen to new ideas and cultures, we will cause great tension with those who we fight against for the truth of ones own “good life”. We can even trace egocentrism into the present with violent disputes between two religions fighting for what they believe is necessary and proper for the good life. Egocentrism with force will inevitably lead to a brawl between what someone sees as good life. In God in America: The New Adam, we jump to how egocentrism can cause discord within our own societies. About fifty years later, we see that the Puritans fled their native nation, Great Britain, seeking religious freedom in the h... ... middle of paper ... ... to be open-minded. We can choose to be more open or closed as we see fit for our good lives. Egocentrism can be detrimental to our good lives when we stubbornly follow an idea that blinds us to something that could further shape what we truly want in our good lives. We see this in God in America: The New Adam where egocentrism can turn us against other cultures and even on ourselves. We also see how conformity on the other end of the spectrum of influence has its own dangers. Complete conformity can warp what we truly see is important for our good life. We see that Dorian Gray is corrupted when he completely conforms to Lord Henry Wotten’s “new hedonism”. Wilde shows that we need to stand by some of our core beliefs when considering someone else’s views of the good life. These stories’ themes show us that we need to balance how much we let ourselves be influenced.

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