I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream – I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal – to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be.

– Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 2. Lord Henry trumpets the hedonistic way of life. He believes that people should be free to follow the unbridled pursuit of pleasure – "give form to every feeling." Self-denial is not in his lexicon. He thinks that simple fear is what holds us back, fear of being fully ourselves. Henry goes on to say: "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."