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Word Count: 2,139
Humans enter this world being pregnant with their future selves The moment of physical birth is our second conception As we gleefully proceed through childhood the vestibule of life full of growing pains astonishing discoveries and shaping experiences we accelerate towards that definitive moment when our initial credit of flow gets fully depleted from assuming already too much yet not enough of what matters Iris Murdoch begins her novel The Bell with a description of a young woman named Dora Greenfield who has already passed the Rubicon of adolescent innocence and now exists in a state of perpetual neurotic moral paralysis when faced with routine sociocultural demands waged by her young adulthood It is my aim to illustrate that Dora is ripe to give birth to self and that such event is only contingent on the illumination of her natural vitality with moral intentionality which would accordingly turn into her own the world that she already half-heartedly yet inevitably inhabitsIris Murdoch places Dora into the post-war London of the 1950s A decade is long enough for a new generation of people to grow up and innocently yearn for simple gaieties of youth yet not long enough for the whole of society to integrate fully and move away from the haunting experience of the most devastating war in human history The wounds were still healing in the collective unconscious of the British society and that created tension between the inertia of post-war austerity and the newly emerged Bohemian aesthetic that was so appealing to Doras role as an arts student The academic world she inhabited while studying at Slade must have been teeming with raw vitality that resonated so well with her own age Existentialism Beatniks jazz all these revolutionary sociocultural movements were happening across the globe at that same time The world was pregnant with changes that were later brought on by the 1960s However for Dora these movements were mere signifiers
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