The Role Of Existentialism In Literature

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Existentialism is ubiquitous, it is not just a school thought. Existentialism is a philosophy that enhances the way people envision their own views of reality, the choices humans make, and the results of what they have done. As humanity evolved, various authors dove deep into the pool of literature and composed various novels that opened the eyes of various readers and taught them that their is more to life than what they already know. Existentialism had themes that shattered the glass of readers who thought the world was wonderful and perfect, and opened their eyes to how people are alienated by appearance or actions, witnessed how a certain problem clouded the main character’s mind with fear and anxiety, and the free will of making a choice …show more content…

But it can also be a differentiation on how one might act or not following the social norm. The Power Point on existentialism defines alienation as being estranged from humans because they have different points of view than someone else, might have a better view on what has happened and what is to come, or simply because they don’t fit in with the crowd (Source C). The stories written by Camus and Kafka relate their characters to that topic and show the effects of being different than the rest of the people around them. In The Stranger, Meursault had different responses to certain situations than the crowd that makes up his world. When he attended the funeral for his mother, he was the only one who did not burst into tears or feel remorse for the loss of someone close to him. Instead, he complained about the heat that he had to deal with on that very same day. Meursault also differed from others because his disbelief in God. Everyone said that “if you don’t believe in God, then your life is meaningless.” But Meursault did not believe in the message and continued his life the way it was (Source A). Meursault’s different opinion and refusal to hear the words of others separated him from the social norm and would rather believe in his own thoughts rather than follow the road the rest of the company rides. Kafka’s book, The Metamorphosis, witnessed a family struggling to keep their son …show more content…

Some choices are good but others result in consequences that need to be accepted. This is called free will. Everyone has the power to make decisions but the outcome that results in any decision, good or bad, must be accepted. In The Stranger, Meursault choice to shoot a man landed him in prison. He also chose to not defend himself in the trial and was rendered a soulless monster who was sentenced to death. While his own choices resulted in his demise, it also appeared that Meursault accepted responsibility for his crimes and did not care about the punishment. It was also shown with his beliefs. Meursault chose not to believe in God and despite being branded as a demon, he stuck to his beliefs and did not care for the consequences others bestowed upon him for his deviation from the general population (Source A). Another instance was when the Samsa’s kept Gregor locked in his room like a prisoner. They knew that Gregor must not be revealed to the outside world and they accepted the consequences of no longer having their son to support them despite suffering debt (Source B). Modern day society has choices too. People must acknowledge to their faults and learn from the choices they made as a way to remember what must change and what should remain the same (Source D). Whether the choices are good or bad, free will allows people to accept the mistakes made and hope to repair them for a hopeful

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