The Myth of Perfection

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The Myth of Perfection

Adam Benzan
Block H

Perfection is a much sought-after quality, yet is completely impossible to obtain. Because we do not have a clear definition of what perfection truly is, when a person attempts to become "perfect", they are usually transforming into what seems to be perfect to . In both "A Doll's House" and "The Metamorphosis", we see that human beings cannot achieve a state of total perfection. When Gregor Samsa, from "the Metamorphosis", attempts to be the perfect provider that his family expects him to be, he inadvertently turns his life into an insectoid existence. Likewise, when Nora from "A Doll's House" tries to live up to her husband's expectations of a perfect wife, she builds up enough self-hate to leave everything that she loves and start an entirely new life. Striving to be this ideal person, like attempting to acquire any other impossible goal, is damaging to the characters in both cases. The fortunes of these characters illustrate the harm in attempting to achieve these impossible objectives.

As human beings, we have no conception of any absolute values, such as perfection and imperfection or hot and cold. We can only perceive changes or comparisons based on what we already know. Through experience, we can tell what is hotter or colder, but never actually tell what the absolutes are. This is a central aspect of what makes perfection impossible to achieve. What exactly is perfection? Seeing as we have no inherent knowledge of what is perfect or imperfect, these ideals are usually set by the expectations of others who are in positions of control over us. Therein lies one of the fundamental dangers in attempting to achieve perfection. When the aims and goals of our lives are governed by an outside force, we are transferring a great amount of power over ourselves to someone else who may not have the best intentions.

Those who have power over us, in most circumstances, will use it to...
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