Goodness Tainted Thoreau Quote Analysis Essay

Goodness Tainted Thoreau Quote Analysis Essay

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"There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.?
-Walden, Henry David Thoreau

There are two ways that this quotation might be interpreted, one way focuses on a person's goodness, or lack of, and the other concerns benign or malicious intentions.
The quotation could be interpreted to mean that it is a sadder thing for a 'good' person to decline into immorality than for a 'bad' person to do something wicked. This interpretation of the quote can be illustrated by the book The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray enters the story as an enchanting, vivacious, almost cherubic youth, comparable to the beautiful Greek god Adonis. As the story progresses, Dorian gets drawn into a habit of hedonism, financial waste, and self destruction, and this moral decline is paralleled by gradual distortion of his once beautiful portrait. At the end of the book, after Dorian had fallen so far as to commit murder, he is shocked to find that his image has become bloated and hideous, and in a fit of outrage, he stabs his portrait, therefore killing himself. All in all, Dor...

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