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Source: A woman of No Importance

Author: Oscar Wilde

"Every saint has a past, and also every sinner has a future."

The only difference between the saint and also the sinner is that every saint has actually a past, and also every sinner has actually a future.

You are watching: Every saint has a past every sinner has a future


Context

It wouldn"t be Oscar Wilde there is no plenty of barbed conversation.

This quote come to united state in the middle of a conversation in between Lady Hunstanton, mr Illingworth, and Mrs. Arbuthnot (the titular mrs of no importance), among others. The ever classy Lady Hunstanton states that she"s fairly out of she depth in conversations with Lord Illingworth, except for the fact that she knows he constantly takes the side of the sinners, and also she the side of the saints. 

This quote? Illingworth"s clever reply.

Where you"ve heard it

This quote is all about the good and negative of humanity, and also how, as humans, we have the right to never completely escape either. The past of the saint in the quote is implied to be a poor past, a past significant with sin. Likewise, the future that the sinner is comprise to it is in a an excellent future, filled through redemption.

One person cannot entirely be a saint or a sinner, at least not over the course of whole lifetime. The course, this is comes from Illingworth, the villain of the play. So maybe it"s simply some wishful thinking as his sinful past absolutely isn"t going come get any kind of better.

In any case, you"re most likely to hear this one native the tough partier who wants to justify his ways. Or possibly the questionable decision-maker who believes that the finish justifies the means.

Pretentious Factor

If you to be to fall this quote at a dinner party, would certainly you gain an in-unison "awww" or would certainly everyone role their eyes and never invite girlfriend back? right here it is, on a range of 1-10.

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To be fair, the actual an interpretation of this quote isn"t pretentious in ~ all: it"s simply comparing saints and sinners, saying that, given time, the two space actually very similar.

But...we can"t completely let that slide: the quote does come indigenous a pat that, regardless of being written by the famous Oscar Wilde, isn"t super well known.