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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 3:02 am 
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"The only thing I can't resist is temptation...."

Attributed (I think) to Oscar Wilde

BUt I just want to know what this saying ACTUALLY means!!

Any interpretations for me???


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 5:49 am 
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One interpretation is that one can resist gratification, but not the temptation to do it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 5:11 pm 
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It may also help to read the quote within the context of which it was written. Here is the complete quote on temptation from The Picture of Dorian Gray:

But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.
~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

"There is not any memory with less satisfaction than the memory of some temptation we resisted."
~ James Branch Cabell

"We gain the strength of the temptation we resist."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Virtue: to resist all temptation to evil."
~ Thomas Malthus

"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."
~ Mae West


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 7:43 pm 
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Oops! Got the entire quote wrong. Sorry.
As far as what it means goes, I think it is simply a witty remark.

Lord Darlington. Well then, setting aside mercenary people, who, of course, are dreadful, do you think seriously that women who have committed what the world calls a fault should never be forgiven?
Lady Windermere. [Standing at table.] I think they should never be forgiven.
Lord Darlington. And men? Do you think that there should be the same laws for men as there are for women?
Lady Windermere. Certainly!
Lord Darlington. I think life too complex a thing to be settled by these hard and fast rules.
Lady Windermere. If we had 'these hard and fast rules,' we should find life much more simple.
Lord Darlington. You allow of no exceptions?
Lady Windermere. None!
Lord Darlington. Ah, what a fascinating Puritan you are, Lady Windermere!
Lady Windermere. The adjective was unnecessary, Lord Darlington.
Lord Darlington. I couldn't help it. I can resist everything except temptation.
Lady Windermere. You have the modern affectation of weakness.
Lord Darlington. [Looking at her.] It's only an affectation, Lady Windermere.
~Lady Windermere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde
http://www.classicbookshelf.com/library ... e_s_fan/0/


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