Selfishness is not living… – Oscar Wilde Quote

Oscar Wilde quotes. For people that loves and encouraging quotes.

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Here is a encouraging quote by Oscar Wilde:

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

Oscar Wilde

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It is hard to imagine Oscar Wilde and his writings as anything but the most decadent literature ever created. Yet, after reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, a Penguin Classics edition of the works, you will realize that the very basis of the decadence that Wilde celebrated in his works was derived from the most mundane of sources. It is no wonder that the novel continues to enthrall contemporary readers with its stark depiction of life in Victorian England. It is even a surprise to learn that an Englishman produced such a fine piece of literature.

In many ways, The Picture of Dorian Gray is like a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Here, Wilde creates the same beautiful love story with an entirely different protagonist and setting. The setting is London, a city that has experienced continuous ruin. Dorian Gray, the protagonist, finds himself seduced by a beautiful prostitute named Olive and then blinded by the actions of a gentleman who apparently has much more experience in the world of medicine than he does. Soon after, Dorian falls in love with the beautiful Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the fiancée of a very wealthy doctor.

The story continues to be captivating because of Wilde’s use of language. Instead of using metaphors, the author uses outright language to communicate an array of feelings, intentions, and ideas. These are thoughts and feelings that are often unspoken and may never have occurred to the reader if it weren’t for The Picture of Dorian Gray. One example is the character of Charlotte Bronte. In her famous book, a young girl named Charlotte Bronte shares her experiences in the past of the family who owns the estate where the Prince Charming is believed to be staying. It is here that the author juxtaposes the message of what we learn in the original plot of the story with the thoughts and feelings of the characters.


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Let’s have the quote again: Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.