Ignorance brings about the alienation of the person from the ideas of the absurd and the existentialist. This is even worse than weakness because a person with ignorance cannot determine if either absurdities or existentialist theories are present in his surroundings. In the film A Beautiful Mind, the people who displayed ignorance were those people who do not know how to empathize with Dr. Nash’ condition. They are ignorant about the fact that there is an existing meaning to Dr. John Nash’ hallucinations. Moreover, it is a contributing factor to his essence as a person.
Those who believe in Epicureanism are expected to associate the meaning of life with happiness and maximum pleasure. In the two movies that will be discussed later, one movie entitled The Reader shows how both characters exemplified Epicureanism in order to find the meaning of their existence. The characters shared a mutually beneficial relationship pleasing each other not only sexually but also intellectually.
Strength and Energy
Strength and energy takes place when a person uses strength to help uncover the meaning of his life. Dr. John Nash, Jr. was able to exemplify that more than his physical strength to battle the effects of his schizophrenia, he also utilized his mental power in order to overpower his hallucinations.
Weakness takes place once a person was able to recognize the existence of an absurdity but chose to do nothing about it. The meaning of life is lost only when the person recognizes absurdities but will not do anything to return to his existentialist thought. Most of the people diagnosed with mental disorders are dissuaded from thinking about recovery. The pharmacologic actions of psychiatric drugs are mainly the cause of inferior mental ability. And thus in Dr. Nash’ case, his weakness is brought about by the poorer ability in his area of expertise.
Leo Tolstoy said once that “life can have no ultimate meaning without God and apart from religious faith.” As said before, religion will always serve as the moral backbone of society. The word of the church will continually become the epitome of what is good and bad—especially before modern and post-modern theories were proposed by philosophers.
The relationship between Hanna and Michael started out of Hanna’s goodwill (in helping Michael). If you will correlate this to Sarte’s idea, their first meeting was the existence of their “relationship.” Eventually, as Michael goes back to Hanna’s house, both characters were able to set aside the big difference in their age. Considering the moral ethics of Michael’s Christian family, he could have ran away when he felt that there was a possibility of him making love with Hannah.
The thing that complicates the idea of existentialism is that people can never have the exact same reasons for existing. It probably is true that Hannah just wanted to make love with Michael while the boy was slowly and genuinely falling for her. Even though they have their own reasons for keeping the relationship, it is the “essence” which determines why they are doing so and the reasons that keep them from going away.
It recognizes the uniqueness of the person and it breaks away from the stereotypical mold created by the tenets of morality. As mentioned above, there are restrictive state apparatuses such as the church’s moral codes and the government’s laws which prohibit any act (that is seen as taboo) from being committed.