Why exactly does Mizoguchi insist on embracing evil?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that a part of this answer is that beauty, as a concept, has spelled nothing but painful experiences.  Mizoguchi's father was more enamored with the temple of the golden pavilion than his own son.  As an adolescent, Mizoguchi was not considered beautiful himself, with his stutter as well as his inability to be enamored by women.  There is little that is redemptive in Mizoguchi's life associated with beauty.  Embracing evil is something that is easier for him to undertake because beauty has always distanced itself from him.  The embrace of evil is something that appeals to Mizoguchi because of his definition of consciousness that was so opposite to beauty.  There is a feeling of contentment that he derives from embracing evil, primarily because it is no longer one of competing against a standard of beauty that he would never fulfill.  In this, the attraction to evil is something where a sense of fulfillment is evident.  It is for this reason why he is so able to embrace evil, a feeling that compels him to burn the temple, an embodiment of beauty.  In representing the negative counterpart to beauty, a sense of contentment emerges.

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The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

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