Existentialism Essay Examples

Essays on Existentialism

Sartrean Existentialism in the Road
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Michael Ross Jeff Bell 1,365 words 21st Century Lit. Sartrean Existentialism In The Road McCarthy tells the story of a nameless father and son struggling to survive in the aftermath of an apocalyptic happening. Religious elements are deeply interwoven with the text and form much of its basic thematic construction. McCarthy writes with a particular focus on existential themes; paying particular attention to the existentialist views of Sartre, Kierkagaard, and Camus and integrating them deeply into his own text. It…...
ExistentialismThe Road
Similarities and Difference between Humanism and Existentialism
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In the 20th century, psychology began to boom with different methods of therapy for individuals from many backgrounds. Along with these different approaches, many of them differed on specific viewpoints such as understanding one’s purpose in life. Two approaches that circle around this viewpoint are humanism and existentialism. These two approaches emerged before the 20th century, but modern day psychotherapy from these two approaches have influenced society to think about their purpose and role in the world. Humanistic psychology emerged…...
Existentialism and Character Development in Hamlet
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In the play “Hamlet” William Shakespeare uses the character of Prince Hamlet to pose conversant existential questions. Existentialism is defined as “a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.”, this definition holds its validity when considering the ideas brought up in “Hamlet”. Existential philosophers since the late 17th like century Soren Kierkegaard have been studying questions like “How should we…...
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The Truth Under Fairy Tale: The Reflection of The Little Prince
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The Little Prince, the book with most of the human emotions in the world, is just like my life story. Actually, I have read this book several times from the first time I got it at age of 10. The Little Prince, is a fairy tale for children, a fable for adults, a memoir for the old. The author is Antonine de Saint-Exupery from France. It was written in 1942 and published in 1943. The author, Antonine, was an existentialist.…...
ExistentialismFairy TalesLonelinessLoveNovelsSymbolism
Existentialism in Camus and Kafka
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Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and Albert Camus' The Outsider, both feature protagonists in situations out of which arise existentialist values. Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts. In The Metamorphosis the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, realizes his existentialism towards the end of the novella. In contrast, Monsieur Meursault, the protagonist…...
ExistentialismThe MetamorphosisThe Stranger
The Heroic Impulse in “The Old Man and the Sea”
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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is a short novel written in 1951 in Cuba, which was published in 1952. It was written when there are important political changes in Cuba- and the Cuban government was in decline and the situation later changes to a dictatorship that had made it endured to this day. Ansari, H. (2016) claims that “Lost generation is generally applied to those who had actively participated in the First World War and as…...
Ernest HemingwayExistentialismHeroLonelinessThe Old Man and The Sea
Waiting for Godot
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Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett, portrays a nihilistic philosophy through two protagonists, Vladimir and Estragon. Throughout Waiting for Godot the two tramps convey a lack of morality, understanding and a lack of purpose. Vladimir and Estragon incessantly persist in chatting about meaningless matters with no intent of acting upon their decisions. Beckett's use of nonsensical circular language expresses the existentialist theme that is consistent throughout Waiting for Godot. Nihilism is the belief that existence is not real and that…...
ExistentialismPhilosophyWaiting For Godot
Narrative Techniques To Create An Impact On The Reader English Literature Essay
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The order of events and their particularization defines the technique of a peculiar author. The narrative technique of absurdism used by Franz Kafka and Albert Camus does full justness to convey out the poignancy in the 'The Outsider ' and 'The Metamorphosis ' . In both 'The Outsider ' and 'The Metamorphosis ' both Albert Camus and Franz Kafka usage similar narration. The technique of `` absurdism '' has been extensively used by both the authors to set up the…...
EnglishExistentialismLiteratureThe Metamorphosis
Explain whether you find the ending to “Metamorphosis” be satisfying
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In this short novel, "Metamorphosis" Kafka examines different themes and tries to convey his personal message through the characters and the plot of the book. When writing this novel Kafka was mainly influenced by many different sources, his life and his experiences. At the beginning, Gregor was the sole breadwinner of the family. Though Gregor hates his job, he follows the call of duty to his family and goes far beyond simple duty. The family, on the other hand, takes…...
ExistentialismThe Metamorphosis
The Autobiographical Links in Kafka’s fiction ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘The Judgment’
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Dr. Ill: Basically, you talented sick mind... you used writing as "self torture to bring about personal healing. " You grew to expect and appreciate your father's abuse didn't you? Without it, there was less inspiration - so much less need for catharsis ... you sick, sick man. Kafka: Nooo... You are vrong! Eet vas hisss vault... my Vatherr!!! This extract came from a humorous interview-presentation and refers to the Austrian writer Franz Kafka. However, the fact that this man's…...
ExistentialismFictionMindPhilosophyThe Metamorphosis
Malamud’s Biography and a Book The Magic Barrel
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A biography of the author Bernard Malamud and a review of his book "The Magic Barrel" I. Bernard Malamud Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) was born in Brooklyn, New York. From 1932 to 1936 he studied at the City College of New York, where he received his bachelor's degree. From 1937 to 1938 he was a student at the Columbia University. In 1942 he received his Master's degree. From 1940 to 1948 he taught evening classes at the Erasmus High School, the…...
A Play Baal by Bertolt Brecht
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A review of a performance of the play "Baal" by Bertolt Brecht I saw a performance of Baal, written by Bertolt Brecht and directed by Evan Parry. The play was not an emotional play, but an intellectual play. It caused the viewer to think about the existentialist nature of Brecht1s writing and the underlying meaning of the play. Although I have studied existentialism and followed the play intently, I still could not fully understand what Brecht was trying to say…...
ExistentialismPlayTheatre Experience
Nihilism and Critique
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Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, in his discourse suggests that man is in a state of normlessness. He makes various assertions that lead to him saying that "God is Dead". This essay explains the "Death of God", Nihilism as a concept and the Ubermensch. It furthermore, however, supplies criticism of Nietzsche's views of Nihilism. Consequently, provides a defense of Nietzsche's views against the criticism. Nietzsche introduces the idea of the "Death of God" through the Madman's speech in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He…...
ExistentialismNietzschesPhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
According to many existentialism rather had a negative impact on
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According to many, existentialism rather had a negative impact on other philosophies and on the psyche of the people because of its highly subjective nature. According to Truman G. Madsen, American academicians studied this philosophy with neglect and distrust. In his words,This distrust is reflected in the ad hominems that recur in discussion: that the origin of the movement is continental catastrophe; that it is a giant psychic and cultural moan: that it is morbid, even pathological; that its writers…...
ExistentialismGenderPhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
Mansfield’s Short Story “The Fly”
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The Fly is an anecdote penned by Kathleen Mansfield Murry who wrote under the pen name Katherine, a prominent modernist writer and poet from New Zealand. She belonged to the modern period which emerged in European and North American sub continets and spannned from 1914 to 1945. The writers in this period made a conscious effort to break away from traditional patterns of writing and realism was the key idea. They moved away from romantic ideals, first person narration and…...
DeathExistentialismModernismShort StoryWar
Are We Nothing but Our Bodies?
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What does it mean being a faithful person? What is it to believe in something? I would say that such questions are interesting to think about and, at the same time, contradictory topics in terms of perception. As philosopher Augustine said, "belief is a volitional consent." We can see that faith is within each of us, and it is under our control. According to Augustine, belief is a mental state that can be true or not, which is assessable for…...
BeliefExistentialismHumanPhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
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Up until the 19th century, 'Essentialism' was the standard view of universe where it was thought that everything has an essence including us, humans, where essence can be referred to a collection of properties that identifies what the thing is meant to be, and it give its function before it's there. Hence, this claim fell under the moto "essence precedes existence." For example, for a knife to be one, it must be propertied with a cutting edge and a handle.…...
ExistentialismPhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
Existentialism in Hamlet
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Existentialism is a Twentieth-Century philosophical belief which focuses on the idea that existence precedes essence, and the freedom of choice one has. This idea argues that in the process of man's existence, people define themselves and the world within their own thoughts, and wander between choice, freedom, and existential angst. In reading William Shakespeare's, Hamlet, one can observe that although this play predates the coining of Existentialism, it features key characteristics of this philosophical movement. Hamlet experiences heavy spells of existential thought, and…...
ExistentialismHamletPhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
Philosophy in Literature and Film Assignment
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Pick one of the below questions and answer it. Unlike the previous assignment, where the aim was to defend a view through an argumentative essay, here your aim is to give a clear exposition of the philosophical view in question, and analyze one or more scenes/themes of the movie or short story in detail, using the philosophical view. Remember, depth is more important than breadth. What I want you to show is how a given movie/short story can be viewed…...
ExistentialismFilmLiteraturePhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
Existentialism is Humanism
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Existentialism is a Humanism, to be human is defined by an existence (physical existence) that precedes its essence (true nature). As such, if existence is problematic, and it is towards the development of a full existentialist theory of what it is to be human that Sartre’s work logically evolves. In relation to what will become Being and Nothingness, Sartre’s early works can be seen as providing important preparatory material for an existential account of being human. But the distinctiveness of…...
Comparing Martin Heidegger And Soren Kierkegaard’s Philosophies
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Individuality refers tothe existential philosophy and ideology that views and emphasizes the moral worth of the individual by promoting the importance of an individual’s goals and desires. Individuality (also sometimes called ‘Individualism’) valuesone’s independence and self-reliance. It advocates that the interests of an individual should come before those of the state or one’s social group. It strongly opposesthe external interference upon an individual’s interests from the general society or even established institutions like the government.On the other hand, authenticity refers…...
ExistentialismPhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
Albert Camus’ The Plague
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Can God possibly exist in a world full of madness and injustice? Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett address these questions in The Plague and Waiting for Godot. Though their thinking follows the ideals of existentialism, their conclusions are different. Camus did not believe in God, nor did he agree with the vast majority of the historical beliefs of the Christian religion. His stance on Christianity is summed up most simply by his remark that "in its essence, Christianity (and this…...
Book ReviewExistentialismLiteraturePhilosophical TheoriesPhilosophy
WH – Chapter 31.1 – Years of Crisis – Section 1 – Postwar Uncertainty
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Albert Einstein A German-born physicist offered startling new ideas on space, time, energy, and matter. Scientists had found that light travels at exactly the same speed no matter what direction it moves in relation to earth Theory of relativity In 1905, Einstein theorized that while the speed of light is constant, other things that seem constant, such as space and time, are not. Space and time can change when measured relative to an object moving near the speed of light—about…...
CrisisExistentialismNietzscheNietzschesReasonSigmund Freud
Your True Self
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Existence precedes and commands Essence. (Jean Paul Sartre) We regarded any situation as raw material for our joint efforts and not as a factor conditioning them: we imagined ourselves to be wholly independent agents. ... We had no external limitations, no overriding authority, no imposed pattern of existence, we created our own links with the world, and freedom was the very essence of our existence. (Simone de Beauvoir, 1963). Many people believe that freedom is something that you are given…...
George Gray
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Have you felt you wanted to get somewhere but are too afraid to do it. In George Gray he is reaching to find meaning in his life but is too afraid to find something. He is too scared that he will be hurt by the outcome or defeated by life in some way that he will not reach out. Now in his poem he is telling how he wants to find the meaning of life by saying he will set…...
ExistentialismHumanLifeLiterary GenrePoemsPoetry
Understanding Human Experiences
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Humanistic psychology, which is associated with theorists such as Carl Rogers and Fritz Perls and Existential psychology, which is associated with theorists such as Irvin Yalom and Victor Frankl share certain concepts that utilize a range of approaches with case conceptualization, therapeutic goals, intervention strategies, and research methodologies (Richert, A. J. , 1999). As explained previously, the psychologies' similarities are that they both place an emphasis on life meaning, objective reality and human potential (van Deurzen-Smith, 2006) and incorporate methods…...
Existentialism in The Adulterous Woman
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Intro "Existentialism is the title of a set of philosophies that stresses the presence of the person, the lack of significance and function in life, and the solitude of human presence." (Academic Resources Center Inc. 2007) According to research what I think is: in the philosophy existentialism, its trunk is talked about; there are 2 kind of life model, one is for their own lives without understanding and lack of knowledge offers up the responsibility of the life, and another…...
Dreadful Freedom- an Essay Depicting Andy Dufresne as an Existential Hero
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To be a true existential hero means lots of things. Most of an individuals actions should be in accordance with the strictly defined beliefs of an existentialist. An existential hero is really conscious of the worth and impact of his choices. He is responsible, lonesome, independent, self-reliant and free. Andy Dufresne the protagonist in The Shawshank Redemption written by Stephen King and directed by Frank Darabont displays these necessary existential qualities. The film has a number of existential themes within…...
Existentialism vs. Naturalism in Native Son
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When I was recently suffering from the dreaded sweet tooth syndrome, I hadn’t the slightest clue that the result would lead to a personal and universal philosophical debate worthy of comparison to Richard Wright’s Native Son. I found a bag of Dove milk chocolates in my cupboard, and proceeded to snack mindlessly. If you have ever had a Dove chocolate bar, you may know that the foil wrappers include adorable anecdotes, encouraging you to “take a well-deserved bubble bath”, or…...
ExistentialismNative SonNaturalismRichard Wright
An Argument of Existentialism in ‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka
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Argument: A person’s will to live is strongly linked to the opinions of loved ones have of that person. While some persons allow the will of their lives to become influenced to the opinions of their loved ones, others do not forget to factor the ideals of human existentialism. In order to appropriately approach the point brought across, one must factor in the underlying tone of the existentialist values of ‘The Metamorphosis’ as written by Frank Kafka. Although many existentialist…...
ArgumentsExistentialismThe Metamorphosis
Existentialism in Demian and Crime and Punishment
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Existentialism is fairly common in literature, despite being a relatively new school of thought, and both Demian and Crime and Punishment show existentialist traits. This gives each book not just a philosophy, but also a certain feeling and mindset. Existentialism starts that with the idea that existence precedes essence, or purpose. We come into this world without a purpose, and we simply exist. Our task is to find a purpose. The world around us is an alien chaos, a circus…...
Crime And PunishmentExistentialismPhilosophy
An Existentialism View Toward Batman and Naruto
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I. Theory of Existentialism Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authoritites creating it for them. It emerged as a movement in twentieth-century literature and philosophy, though it had forerunners in earlier centuries. Existentialism generally postulates that the absence of a transcendent force (such as God) means that the individual is entirely free, and therefore, ultimately responsible. It is up to humans to create an…...
Existentialism and Waking Life
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Existentialism is a type of philosophy that was very trendy in France after World War II as made popular by the quintessential philosopher, John Paul Sartre. A suitable introduction to existential ideology, The Stranger is a novel written by Albert Camus, a novelist and existentialist alike. Films that exhibit existential philosophy are the rotoscoped Waking Life by Richard Linklater and I Heart Huckabees by David O. Russell. The work that best conveys the ideas of existentialism is The Stranger due…...
Influence of Existentialism on Theatre of Absurd
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The term “Theatre of the Absurd” comes from literary critic Martin Esslin’s book The Theatre of the Absurd, published in 1961. In this book, he examined the works of a number of European playwrights of in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. According to him, these playwrights gave dramatic articulation to Albert Camus’s philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. He named four playwrights as the pioneers of this surge of absurdness in theatre- Samuel Beckett, Arthur Adamov, Eugene Ionesco, and…...
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Existentialism
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What if everything gets one nothing? What if it was true that man has the power to do whatever he pleases, but in the end all of it will mean - for lack of a better term - nothing? This school of thought is called existentialism, which is crucial in Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - an absurdly written response to William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern experience times of enlightenment, humor, and sorrow throughout their journey,…...
Existentialism in Waiting for Godot
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Existentialism is a philosophy that repudiates the idea of religion or any ‘supreme’ being bringing meaning to life, and advocates the idea that individuals are instrumental in finding a purpose to life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility. Hence in Samuel Becket’s existentialist play Waiting For Godot, he puts forth an idea that all of humanity is wasting their lives in inaction- waiting for the salvation of a deity, when that divine being may or may not even exist.…...
ExistentialismSalvationWaiting For Godot
Existentialism vs. Phenomenology
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Existentialism vs. Phenomenology and the response to Hegelian Idealism Absolute idealism was a huge part of Western culture but through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the greatest political movement took place. Marxism was this great political movement. The movement had an affect on theology and art. Jean-Paul Sartre, a continental philosopher who lived in the nineteenth century was an existentialist. Some of the main themes of extentialism are: • Traditional and academic philosophy is sterile and remote from the concerns…...
Existentialism vs Essentialism
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"Existentialism":A philosophical theory or approach, that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free & responsible agent, determining their own development through acts of the will. Existentialism * is a philosophical term which posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives. Existentialism asserts that “existence precedes essence,” which is in opposition to the classical doctrine that “essence precedes existence. ” The claim “existence precedes essence” is a rejection of the idea that human nature has…...
Existentialism and Existence Precedes Essence
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Born in 1905, and the writer of many plays, novels and literature , Jean Paul Sartre became a famous philosophical writer on existentialism post world war 2. (wikipedia) He mainly dealt with three areas of study and they were existentialism, Marxism and Anarchism. (Basic Writings) This paper is an attempt to describe Jean Paul Sartre’s existentialist view. It discusses Sartre’s development of existentialism and the idea that destiny depends solely upon the individual choices. (Existentialism –Jean Paul Sartre)The other related…...
Existentialism: Definition and Nature
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Paper Type:Definition essays
Existentialism is a philosophical way of thinking that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as free, responsible, and capable of determining their own growth through acts of will. It is what makes us unique and what makes us alike. The existential movement is not a set of doctrines or a philosophical system. It is a cultural movement that arose in 19th century Europe and rose to fame in 1945 after World War II. The movement is primarily concerned with…...
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