Resolved to Live and Feel

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“She began to do as she liked and to feel as she liked…She had resolved never to take another step backward.”

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin

Mist Lifting

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“She felt as if a mist had been lifted from her eyes, enabling her to took upon and comprehend the significance of life, that monster made up of beauty and brutality.”

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin

Devilishly Wicked Specimen

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“…pull myself together for a while and think—try to determine what character of a woman I am; for, candidly, I don’t know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can’t convince myself that I am. I must think about it.”

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin

Tyranny of Journalism

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In old days men had the rack.  Now they have the press.  That is an improvement certainly.  But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralising.”

In America the President reigns for four years, and Journalism governs for ever and ever.  Fortunately in America Journalism has carried its authority to the grossest and most brutal extreme.  As a natural consequence it has begun to create a spirit of revolt.  People are amused by it, or disgusted by it, according to their temperaments.  But it is no longer the real force it was.  It is not seriously treated.

The tyranny that it proposes to exercise over people’s private lives seems to me to be quite extraordinary.  The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.  Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.  In centuries before ours the public nailed the ears of journalists to the pump.  That was quite hideous.  In this century journalists have nailed their own ears to the keyhole.  That is much worse.”

The private lives of men and women should not be told to the public.  The public have nothing to do with them at all.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

True Selfishness

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Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.  And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them.

It is not selfish to think for oneself.  A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.

A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose.  It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

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Living vs Existing

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To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people exist, that is all.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

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Planning and Human Nature

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The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes.  Change is the one quality we can predicate of it.  The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

Internal Importance

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Now, nothing should be able to harm a man except himself.  Nothing should be able to rob a man at all.  What a man really has, is what is in him.  What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)

Past, Present and Future

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But the past is of no importance.  The present is of no importance.  It is with the future that we have to deal.  For the past is what man should not have been.  The present is what man ought not to be.  The future is what artists are.

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)