How Old is Dorian? A Closer Look at the Enigmatic Character of Dorian Gray.

In the realm of literature, there exist characters whose enigmatic nature captivates readers and ignites debates that endure through the ages. One such character is none other than Dorian Gray, the protagonist of Oscar Wilde’s renowned novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Dorian Gray is a character whose age remains shrouded in mystery, contributing to the allure and fascination surrounding him. In this article, we embark on a journey to unravel the enigma of Dorian’s age, delving into the intricacies of the narrative and examining the various clues scattered within the pages of Wilde’s masterpiece.

Dorian Gray is a figure that has perplexed readers since the publication of Wilde’s novel in 1890. While the text provides elusive hints about the chronology of events, no conclusive evidence is presented to definitively determine Dorian’s age. The absence of a clear indicator regarding his birth date invites speculation and invites readers to cultivate their own theories and interpretations. With this in mind, we delve into the depths of Dorian Gray’s character, exploring the shifting perspectives on his age, and considering the implications and symbolism that arise from the lack of concrete information. By closely examining the narrative, character interactions, and the societal backdrop, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the timeless enigma that is the age of Dorian Gray.

**The Picture of Dorian Gray: A Brief Summary**

In order to fully understand the enigmatic nature of Dorian Gray’s age, it is essential to provide a brief summary of Oscar Wilde’s novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” The story revolves around the titular character, Dorian Gray, a young and handsome man living in Victorian England.

Dorian is introduced as a strikingly beautiful individual, whose youthful appearance seems to radiate an uncommon charm. He catches the eye of the talented painter Basil Hallward, who is captivated by Dorian’s youthful aura and decides to paint his portrait. Meanwhile, Dorian befriends Lord Henry Wotton, who introduces him to the hedonistic and pleasure-seeking lifestyle of high society.

As the story progresses, Dorian becomes obsessed with his own youthful appearance. He naively wishes that his portrait would age instead of him, so that he could remain forever young and indulge in a life of pleasure without consequence. In a bizarre twist of fate, his wish is mysteriously granted. The portrait ages and reflects every immoral act and sin committed by Dorian, while he remains eternally young and untouched by the passage of time.

Despite his sinful actions and the degradation of the portrait, Dorian’s appearance remains undeniably youthful and attractive. This apparent immortality becomes central to the enigmatic nature of Dorian Gray’s age.

**The Initial Description**

Dorian’s first appearance in the novel is met with admiration and fascination from the characters in the story. Wilde’s careful description of him highlights not only his physical beauty but also his youthful charm. Dorian is portrayed as having a “classic beauty of Greek sculpture” with delicate features and an effortless grace. His youthful countenance seems to embody eternal youth, captivating all those who encounter him.

In terms of his age, Wilde chooses to deliberately keep it ambiguous. While Dorian is introduced as a young man, his age remains a mystery throughout the novel. This intentional vagueness adds to the enigmatic aura surrounding Dorian’s character and leaves readers guessing about the true extent of his agelessness.

The ambiguity surrounding Dorian’s age hints at the fascinating concept of eternal youth, which becomes a defining trait of his character. It is this aspect that sets the stage for further exploration of Dorian’s age and his ability to maintain his youthful appearance despite the passage of time.

**The Immortal Youth**

One of the most intriguing aspects of Dorian Gray’s character is his seemingly immortal youth. Despite the passage of years, his appearance remains unblemished, untouched by the ravages of time. This concept of eternal youth is a recurring theme in the novel and adds to the enigmatic nature of Dorian’s age.

Dorian’s ability to retain his youthful appearance becomes a source of both fascination and envy for those around him. His friends and acquaintances marvel at his beauty and seemingly unchanging features, further perpetuating the enigma surrounding his age. The question arises: how is it possible for Dorian to maintain such eternal youthfulness?

Wilde’s clever juxtaposition of the perpetually youthful Dorian with his aging and deteriorating portrait raises intriguing questions about the nature of aging and the human desire for eternal youth. The tension between Dorian’s outward appearance and the hidden portrait serves as a constant reminder of the enigma surrounding his true age.

Examining the concept of eternal youth within the context of Dorian Gray’s character adds depth to the exploration of his enigmatic age. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the true extent of Dorian’s agelessness is tied to his moral decay and the consequences of his actions, which will be examined in further detail in the following sections.

**The Ageless Portrait**

The portrait of Dorian Gray, painted by Basil Hallward, plays a crucial role in unraveling the enigmatic nature of Dorian’s age. As the narrative progresses, the changes that occur in the portrait reflect the hidden sins and corruption within Dorian’s soul.

Initially, the portrait captures Dorian’s youthful beauty and innocence, acting as a testament to his ageless appearance. But as Dorian descends further into a life of hedonism and immorality, the painting begins to reflect the effects of his actions. Each sinful act, each cruel decision made by Dorian, manifests as a disfigurement or an aging effect on the portrait.

While Dorian’s outward appearance remains youthful and untarnished, the portrait bears the burden of his dark deeds. The juxtaposition between Dorian’s unchanging looks and the progressively deteriorating painting adds to the enigma of his age. It suggests that there is a hidden toll to be paid for his eternal youth, a debt that is being exacted upon the once magnificent portrait.

The changes in the portrait prompt further questions about the true age of Dorian Gray. Does the portrait reflect his real age, or is it merely a representation of his moral decay? This question adds a layer of complexity to the enigmatic nature of Dorian’s age and sets the stage for a deeper exploration of the role of time in his life, which will be discussed in the following section.

The Initial Description

In the third section of our exploration into the enigmatic character of Dorian Gray, we delve into Dorian’s first appearance in the novel and analyze how he is described physically and in terms of age. This initial description sets the stage for the mysterious nature surrounding Dorian.

When Dorian Gray is first introduced in Oscar Wilde’s iconic novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” readers are immediately captivated by his mesmerizing presence. Wilde paints a vivid picture of Dorian’s physical appearance, describing him as “a young man of extraordinary personal beauty” with “finely-curved scarlet lips,” delicate features, and “wonderfully fair, with his finely-crisp hair, his blue eyes, and his delicate, aristocratic hands.”

However, it is not just his physical beauty that intrigues readers; it is the uncertainty surrounding his age. Dorian is initially described as a young man, but the exact number of years he has lived remains a tantalizing mystery. This enigmatic aspect of Dorian’s character adds to the fascination readers feel towards him, as it raises questions regarding the passage of time and its effects on his appearance.

Wilde purposely leaves room for interpretation when it comes to Dorian’s age, allowing readers to speculate and form their own conclusions. Is Dorian a youthful 20-something or perhaps an ageless being trapped in time? This ambiguity fuels the intrigue surrounding his character and draws readers deeper into the story.

Furthermore, the physical description of Dorian Gray plays a significant role in establishing the duality of his character. While Dorian possesses the appearance of a young, innocent man, there is a timeless quality to him that suggests a deeper, more complex nature. Through these physical descriptions, Wilde sets the stage for the transformation and moral deterioration that follows as Dorian’s sins progress.

In the next section, we will explore the concept of eternal youth in Dorian’s character, examining his ability to maintain a youthful appearance despite the passage of time. By delving deeper into the enigmatic nature of Dorian’s age and its implications on his character, we are invited to contemplate the correlation between physical appearance, morality, and the pursuit of eternal youth.

**The Immortal Youth**


In Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” the character of Dorian Gray has intrigued readers for generations. One aspect that adds to Dorian’s enigmatic nature is his age. Throughout the novel, Dorian seemingly remains eternally youthful, while those around him age and wTher away. In this section, we will explore the concept of eternal youth in Dorian’s character and delve into his ability to maintain a youthful appearance despite the passage of time.

**The Concept of Eternal Youth**

Dorian Gray is introduced as a young and handsome man, whose physical appearance captivates all who meet him. However, as the story progresses, it becomes apparent that Dorian’s youthfulness goes beyond mere good genetics. He is portrayed as someone who possesses an extraordinary ability to retain his timeless beauty, regardless of the years that go by.

**Dorian’s Timeless Portrait**

One of the key aspects that contributes to Dorian’s eternal youth is the portrait painted by Basil Hallward. This portrait, hidden in Dorian’s secluded attic, ages and deteriorates as Dorian’s sins and immoral behaviors accumulate. While Dorian remains perpetually young, the portrait serves as a haunting reminder of his true age and the toll his actions have taken on his soul.

**Maintaining Youth Despite Time**

Despite the passage of time, and the toll it takes on those around him, Dorian is able to maintain his youthful appearance. His charm and youthful vitality lead many to speculate if Dorian has made a pact with the devil or if he possesses some mysterious power.

**The Tantalizing Mystery of Dorian’s Age**

The enigmatic nature of Dorian Gray’s age has led to numerous theories and interpretations. Some readers believe that Dorian is literally immortal, while others view his eternal youth as a metaphorical representation of human vanity and the destructive nature of a hedonistic lifestyle. The ambiguity surrounding Dorian’s age allows readers to explore their own interpretations and delve deeper into the themes presented in the novel.


Dorian Gray’s ability to maintain his youthful appearance despite the passage of time adds to the mystery and allure of his character. Whether seen as an immortal being or a representation of the human desire for eternal youth, Dorian’s age remains a captivating enigma. Through Wilde’s masterful storytelling, readers are invited to question their own perceptions of age and mortality, and to ponder the eternal longing for beauty and youth that resides within us all.

The Ageless Portrait

The Ageless Portrait: A Window into Dorian’s True Age


In Oscar Wilde’s novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” the character of Dorian Gray remains an enigma in many ways, with one of the most intriguing aspects being his age. Throughout the story, Dorian seemingly defies the normal aging process, maintaining a youthful appearance despite the passage of time. This section will delve into the portrayal of Dorian’s age through the ageless portrait that serves as a reflection of his true self.

The Portrait’s Representation of Dorian’s True Age

One of the most significant aspects of Dorian Gray’s character is the portrait that ages and wThers as Dorian’s sins progress. The portrait’s changes act as a visual representation of Dorian’s true age, contrasting with the perpetually youthful appearance he maintains in the physical world. As Dorian engages in immoral behavior, the portrait becomes increasingly distorted, revealing the effects of his transgressions.

The Progression of the Portrait

At the beginning of the novel, the portrait is depicted as a flawless representation of Dorian’s youthful beauty. However, as he becomes more deeply entangled in a life of hedonism and sin, the portrait begins to display signs of decay and corruption. This juxtaposition between Dorian’s youthful visage and the deteriorating portrait serves to highlight the spiritual and moral decay occurring within him, ultimately leading to his downfall.

The Symbolism Behind the Ageless Portrait

The ageless portrait can be seen as a metaphor for the hidden and suppressed aspects of Dorian’s character. While he is able to maintain a facade of youth and innocence in society, the portrait unveils the true consequences of his actions. It symbolizes the toll that a life of debauchery and immorality takes on a person’s soul, regardless of their physical appearance.

Dorian’s Struggle with His Ageless Portrait

Throughout the story, Dorian battles with the existence of the portrait, which serves as a constant reminder of his true age and the darkness within him. His desire to destroy the portrait stems from a desperate attempt to maintain his youthful facade and escape the consequences of his actions. However, the more he tries to hide or destroy the portrait, the more it reflects the truth about his soul.


Dorian Gray’s ageless portrait offers a compelling glimpse into the true nature of his age and the effects of his immoral choices. As the portrait deteriorates, so does Dorian’s soul, illustrating the inescapable consequences of his actions. The ageless portrait serves as a powerful symbol and reminder that no one can escape the true essence of their character, regardless of appearances.

Time as a Character

Time as a Character

Dorian Gray, the enigmatic protagonist of Oscar Wilde’s novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray,’ is not just a complex character, but also a vessel through which the concept of time is explored. Time, in all its facets and implications, holds a significant role in the life and narrative of Dorian Gray. From his initial introduction to his eventual downfall, the passage of time is not only a key theme but also actively shapes Dorian’s existence.

Examining the role of time in Dorian’s life

Throughout the novel, time is portrayed as a relentless force that molds and transforms Dorian. Initially, he is depicted as a young and innocent individual, seemingly untouched by the ravages of time. However, as the story progresses, Dorian’s obsession with maintaining his youthful appearance leads him down a dark and chaotic path, ultimately resulting in his moral decay.

Time also manifests in the form of the portrait, which acts as a visual representation of Dorian’s true age and soul. As Dorian engages in increasingly immoral acts, the portrait ages and becomes a grotesque depiction of his true nature. This parallel between Dorian’s physical appearance and the portrait further emphasizes the impact of time on his existence.

How time affects his physical appearance

As Dorian indulges in a hedonistic lifestyle, his youthful exterior remains unblemished, contrasting the corruption within him. However, over time, the toll of his immoral actions starts to manifest physically, causing him great distress. His once charming and youthful features become distorted, reflecting the inner decay caused by his immoral choices. This juxtaposition between a preserved exterior and a corrupted interior highlights the futility of Dorian’s pursuit of eternal youth.

Moreover, the influence of time goes beyond the physical realm and delves into Dorian’s mental and emotional state. The weight of his sins and the constant fear of discovery gradually erode his sanity, further emphasizing the profound impact of time on his overall well-being.

In conclusion, time is not merely a backdrop in ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray,’ but rather an active character that shapes the trajectory of Dorian’s life. The relentless passage of time, reflected in the aging portrait and Dorian’s deteriorating appearance, demonstrates the inescapable consequences of one’s actions. Through this exploration of time, Oscar Wilde delves into the themes of morality, vanity, and the inevitable decay that accompanies a life lived without conscience. Dorian’s enigmatic age becomes not only a narrative device but also a metaphorical representation of the inherent flaws and limitations humans face in their pursuit of eternal youth.

VThe Dorian Graph Theory

Analyzing Theories About Dorian’s True Age
Conflicting Interpretations and Speculations

In Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” the age of the eponymous character, Dorian Gray, remains a source of fascination and speculation. Despite the passage of time and the sins he commits, Dorian seems to remain eternally youthful, prompting various theories about his true age. This section delves into the enigmatic nature of Dorian’s age, exploring the numerous theories and interpretations surrounding the character.

Conflicting Interpretations and Speculations
One theory, often called the “Dorian Graph Theory,” postulates that Dorian does age but at a much slower rate than the normal human experience. This interpretation suggests that Dorian’s age progresses linearly compared to his sins, rather than his physical appearance. Some argue that this theory aligns with the changes witnessed in the enchanted portrait, which gradually reflects Dorian’s immoral deeds but not his physical aging.

Contrasting with the above theory, some scholars propose that Dorian is indeed ageless, immortal even. They believe that he possesses a supernatural gift or has made a Faustian pact for eternal youth. This interpretation points to Dorian’s remarkable ability to maintain his youthful appearance without any visible signs of aging, regardless of the passage of time.

Another theory explores the idea that Dorian Gray is an allegorical figure entirely detached from conventional notions of age. According to this view, Dorian’s age is symbolic, representing humanity’s eternal struggle with the consequences of their actions. This theory suggests that the character exemplifies the timeless tension between youth, beauty, and the moral decay that accompanies them.

While these interpretations provide compelling insights into Dorian Gray’s age, it is important to acknowledge the deliberate ambiguity constructed by Oscar Wilde. The author intentionally leaves Dorian’s age open to interpretation, inviting readers to delve into the complex layers of his character and ponder the multiple dimensions of human existence.

Different Interpretations of the Character’s Age
The elusive nature of Dorian’s age presents an opportunity for readers to engage in critical analysis and construct their interpretations. Some readers might interpret Dorian’s age as a physical manifestation of his psychological state, reflecting his inner torment and moral corruption. Others may perceive his age as a reflection of societal pressures and expectations regarding youth and beauty.

The conflicting interpretations and speculations surrounding the age of Dorian Gray contribute to the enduring enigma of his character. Wilde’s choice to keep this aspect deliberately ambiguous allows for a multitude of theories and personal reflections, making Dorian’s age an integral part of the novel’s allure and enduring legacy. As readers continue to explore this classic work, Dorian’s age will remain a subject of fascination, provoking endless discussions and interpretations in literary circles.

VIOscar Wilde’s Intention

Wilde’s Purpose in Ambiguity

In the literary masterpiece “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” Oscar Wilde intentionally keeps the age of the enigmatic character, Dorian Gray, ambiguous. Throughout the novel, Wilde strategically avoids providing a clear numerical age for Dorian, leaving readers to speculate and interpret the character’s age based on various clues and descriptions. This deliberate ambiguity serves Wilde’s larger purpose in exploring themes of morality, beauty, and the destructive nature of vanity.

Symbolism and Metaphors

By omitting Dorian’s precise age, Wilde adds depth and complexity to the character, allowing him to become a symbol or metaphor for the corrupting influence of a hedonistic lifestyle. Dorian’s eternal youth represents his desire to preserve his physical beauty and indulge in a life of pleasure, regardless of the consequences. Wilde portrays Dorian as a cautionary tale, warning against the pursuit of eternal youth and the avoidance of personal growth and accountability.

The Portrait as Time’s Witness

The portrait of Dorian Gray serves as a visual representation of his true age and the toll his sins take on his appearance. As Dorian becomes increasingly immersed in a debauched existence, the portrait ages and becomes a grotesque reflection of his inner corruption. Wilde’s intentional ambiguity regarding Dorian’s age emphasizes the dichotomy between his youthful exterior and his morally decaying soul.

Provoking Interpretation

Wilde’s decision to leave Dorian’s age open to interpretation invites readers to engage with the novel on a deeper level. The enigmatic aspect of Dorian’s age sparks discussions and theories among literary scholars and enthusiasts. Some argue that Dorian represents the eternal human struggle with mortality, while others see him as a metaphor for the oppressive expectations of Victorian society. By intentionally avoiding a definitive age for Dorian, Wilde encourages readers to question societal norms and the pursuit of everlasting youth.

The Paradox of Aging

In keeping Dorian’s age elusive, Wilde explores the paradoxical nature of aging. While Dorian maintains a youthful appearance through the supernatural preservation of his portrait, his soul becomes increasingly aged and corrupted. This juxtaposition highlights the disconnection between physical appearance and moral character, challenging society’s obsession with external beauty and eternal youth.

In conclusion, Oscar Wilde deliberately leaves Dorian Gray’s age ambiguous to serve his larger themes and explore societal constructs. By inviting interpretations and symbolism related to Dorian’s age, Wilde prompts readers to reflect on the complexities of morality, vanity, and the pursuit of eternal youth. Through the enigmatic nature of Dorian’s age, Wilde exposes the destructive consequences of a life devoid of personal growth and accountability, leaving readers with an unsettling reminder of the transient nature of beauty and the importance of inner virtue.

Psychological Interpretations

Dorian’s Eternal Youth: A Window into his Psyche

The enigmatic nature of Dorian Gray’s age goes beyond the physical realm; it delves deep into the realm of psychology as well. The eternal youthfulness displayed by Dorian raises intriguing questions about the character’s mental state and underlying motivations. This section will explore various psychological interpretations that shed light on the reasons behind Dorian’s perpetual youth.

One psychological theory that can be applied to Dorian is the concept of arrested development. According to this theory, individuals who experience trauma or emotional disturbances during their formative years may be psychologically frozen at that stage, preventing them from maturing emotionally. In the case of Dorian, his encounter with Lord Henry Wotton and the influence of his hedonistic worldview seem to have stunted his emotional growth. This arrested development manifests itself in his everlasting youthful appearance, as if he is frozen in time.

Another psychological lens through which Dorian’s eternal youth can be examined is the concept of the unconscious mind. Sigmund Freud’s theories on the unconscious suggest that individuals repress certain desires and fantasies that they find unacceptable or threatening. These repressed desires can manifest in various ways, including physical symptoms or behaviors. In Dorian’s case, his desire for eternal youth and beauty may be tied to repressed fears of mortality and his own insecurities about aging. The portrait, then, serves as a manifestation of his unconscious desires and fears, reflecting the toll that his sins take on his psyche.

Additionally, the psychological theory of narcissism can help explain Dorian’s fixation on eternal youth. Narcissism, characterized by an excessive self-love and an inflated sense of self-importance, can drive individuals to seek eternal youth as a means of preserving their idealized self-image. Dorian’s obsession with his own beauty and his refusal to age can be seen as a manifestation of this narcissistic tendency. By maintaining his youthful appearance, Dorian can perpetuate the illusion of his own perfection.

Overall, the psychological interpretations of Dorian’s eternal youth provide valuable insights into the character’s complex psyche. Whether it be the concept of arrested development, unconscious desires and fears, or the influence of narcissism, these theories shed light on the underlying psychological motivations behind Dorian’s enigmatic age. By delving into the realm of psychology, we can begin to unravel the intricate layers of Dorian Gray’s character and gain a deeper understanding of his immortal youth.

The Influence of Society

Societal Influences on Dorian’s Perception of Age

Dorian Gray, the enigmatic character created by Oscar Wilde, is known for his obsession with maintaining eternal youth. However, it is essential to explore the factors that contribute to this obsession. One significant influence on Dorian’s perception of age is society.

Throughout Wilde’s novel, we see how society’s expectations shape Dorian’s fears and desires. In the Victorian era, youthfulness was highly valued, and aging was often associated with decline and loss of beauty. Additionally, societal standards emphasized the importance of outward appearance and maintaining a youthful façade.

Dorian’s desire to preserve his youth can be seen as a response to these societal pressures. He becomes obsessed with his physical appearance and resorts to any means necessary to maintain his youthful allure. Society’s influence can be seen in Dorian’s fear of growing old, as he believes his worth and desirability rest solely on his youthful appearance.

The Impact of External Pressures on Dorian’s Desire for Eternal Youth

The external pressures Dorian faces play a crucial role in his obsession with eternal youth. Friends, acquaintances, and the influence of his hedonistic lifestyle all contribute to his desire to remain forever young.

Dorian’s social circle consists of individuals who prioritize youth and beauty, such as Lord Henry Wotton. Lord Henry’s philosophy of indulgence and hedonism further reinforces Dorian’s belief that aging is undesirable. The constant exposure to these ideas and influences reinforces Dorian’s fear of aging and pushes him towards maintaining his youthful appearance at all costs.

Furthermore, Dorian’s involvement in a morally corrupt lifestyle contributes to his desire for eternal youth. This lifestyle, filled with debauchery and excess, masks the internal turmoil Dorian experiences and provides temporary distraction from his fear of aging. By indulging in sensual pleasures, he believes he can escape the passage of time and the consequences of his actions.

In conclusion, society plays a significant role in shaping Dorian Gray’s obsession with eternal youth. The societal expectations of the Victorian era, combined with the influences of his social circle and his hedonistic lifestyle, contribute to his fear of aging and his relentless pursuit of everlasting youth. Dorian’s desire to resist the natural progression of time is not solely an individual struggle but is deeply rooted in the societal pressures and influences that surround him.


In conclusion, the enigmatic character of Dorian Gray continues to captivate readers due to the ambiguity surrounding his age. Throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde skillfully presents Dorian as a timeless figure, exploring themes of eternal youth, the passage of time, and societal influences on one’s perception of age.

Summary of Key Points

In this article, we have provided a closer look at the character of Dorian Gray and his enigmatic age. We began by introducing Dorian Gray as a mysterious character with an unknown age, sparking intrigue among readers. Then, we provided a brief summary of Oscar Wilde’s book, highlighting key events involving Dorian’s age.

Next, we delved into the initial description of Dorian, examining how he is physically and age-wise portrayed in the novel. We explored the concept of eternal youth in Dorian’s character, emphasizing his ability to maintain a youthful appearance despite the passage of time. Additionally, we discussed the ageless portrait as a representation of Dorian’s true age, showcasing the changes that occur in the portrait as his sins progress.

Furthermore, we examined the role of time as a character in Dorian’s life, discussing its effects on his physical appearance. We analyzed various theories regarding Dorian’s true age, considering different interpretations of the character’s age. We also explored Oscar Wilde’s intention in keeping Dorian’s age ambiguous, contemplating possible symbolism or metaphors related to the character’s age.

Moreover, we delved into psychological interpretations of Dorian’s eternal youth, examining theories related to his mental state. Lastly, we explored the influence of society on Dorian’s perception of age, discussing the impact of external pressures on his desire for eternal youth.

Thought-Provoking Reflection

As readers, we are left to ponder the mystery of Dorian Gray’s age and the deeper meanings it signifies. Does Dorian’s agelessness represent a longing for immortality? Is it a metaphor for the timeless pursuit of beauty and pleasure? Ultimately, the enigmatic nature of Dorian’s age invites us to question the very essence of our own existence and the inevitable passage of time.

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