Building The Existential Man Essay

2328 words - 10 pages

There are many genres in music. Today, people see the charts dominated by pop, rock, and hip-hop, but there are numerous genres that fill bottom cultures of music. For instance, jazz music is not booming like it was in the 1930s. However, the culture still fully exists. It is still being performed and experimented with by musicians. It is even arguable that jazz was a starting root to music today. Literature also holds an abundance of genres. From fantasies to lectures, news to philosophies, literature is also a constant part of human life. Now, if there were a genre of literature that works as an analogy to jazz, it would certainly be existentialism. Existentialism is a philosophical movement that was birthed post-World War II. It is a deep study of the existence of life, and revolves around the idea that we create our own nature. The absolute internal freedom humans own is only beat down by the anxiety humans create from their freedom. That is why life is absurd. With such a deep, complex philosophy, it is important that it is studied, investigated, and explained. The same can be said for jazz music. The complexity may be why existentialism is still being explored today. There are many modern works that set up existential experiments, attempt to define the existential character, and display consequences of the philosophy being ignored. Existential investigation is important because on the surface, it seems like a dark philosophy, but through understanding it becomes powerful.
With the overall outlook on existentialism seeming quite daunting, it is important to find the resolution. One of the themes that make existentialism so daunting is that life is absurd. What is absurdity, and what are people able to do about it? Sartre expresses absurdity as “an unfulfillable desire for complete fulfillment” (Wildman). This definition tells that the absurdity of life is absolutely impossible to conquer. Life is absurd, so deal with it. The bleakness of this idea fostered in a resolution explored by Albert Camus. Camus created a type of character he named “the absurd man,” which is also referred to as “the absurd hero.” These characters hold a special, dense inner-strength. “It is an inner strength not comparable to today's self-help hallway books telling you how to resist biscuits. It is an attitude, an inner change that cannot be possessed, taught or bought, but achieved only through revolt, the revolt of the inner self against the absurd” (Schrahé). Camus's most prominent “absurd man” is Sisyphus, from his parable, The Myth of Sisyphus. The myth is about Sisyphus's damnation to Tartarus. There, he is sentenced to roll a boulder up a hill, only to let it roll back down and start the cycle over. Camus uses this story as a vehicle to illuminate the existence of genuine happiness against a backdrop of the absurdity of life. The tragedy of Sisyphus's endless task is void of two things: hope and faith. If hope and faith are thought as pathways to escape the...

Find Another Essay On Building the Existential Man

How will you judge the existential crisis in 'waiting for Godot' - assignment's class - Assignment

591 words - 3 pages PHOLOSOPHY]. But in this play what happened is the opposite of the definition of Existentialism which refers the existential crisis. In this play “Waiting for Godot” the word “Waiting” refers the existential crisis it itself. The waiting of the two man named Vladimir and Estragon for the person namedGodot. This two person represents the existential crisis by waiting for godot. Vladimir and Estragon have had wasted existence since before the play

The Role of Logotherapy and the Existential Gap in Addiction

1479 words - 6 pages fortify it, logotherapy is an effective therapy in treating addiction. Narration Logotherapy was initially developed by Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl whilst he endured the horrors of a concentration camp, as described in his novel Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. At the core of logotherapy is the insistence that man desires to fulfill his life by giving it significance and filling the existential gap, a term coined

Modernism and Existential Loneliness Demonstrated in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and James Joyce's The Dead

847 words - 3 pages modernist approach to literature through their continual use of existential loneliness with their depiction of Kurtz and Gabriel. Each character is isolated in a world that seems to disregard their presence. Conrad’s portrayal of Kurtz as a man who is unable to endure life in a civilized society and Joyce’s portrayal of Gabriel within a civilized society illustrates that regardless of one’s environment, it is easy to be alienated. Existential loneliness is a modern characteristic that takes place within the individual, a trait that is clearly demonstrated by both Kurtz and Gabriel.

Hamlet's Existential Crisis

1772 words - 7 pages within this play and proves that Hamlet is an existential character. In the words of Gordon Bigelow, "a man is the sum total of the acts that make up his life—no more, no less—and though the coward has made himself cowardly, it is always possible for him to change and make himself heroic" (Bigelow). Hamlet acted in ways that impacted his life and that of those around him so that, in a sense, Hamlet created an essence for himself that seemed more

The Existential Hero: Hamlet

1018 words - 4 pages To be without value or meaning permits the violation of norm behavioral standards. Existentialism is championed in the responsibility and free will of man. The world is utterly “worthless, meaningless, empty, and hopeless, … to use a favorite Existentialism, absurd”(Ross 1). A man must become unconventional by supplying an authentic meaning to life. Shakespeare’s character Hamlet in the play Hamlet, explores these existential principles as he

The Existential Theme of London’s To Build A Fire

1340 words - 5 pages The Existential Theme of London’s “To Build A Fire"           Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” is the tragic tale of a man who decides to travel alone through the hostile environment of the Yukon in sub-freeing temperatures and falls victim to the unrelenting and unforgiving power of nature. During his journey, the man gets his feet wet as he falls through the ice into the water of a hot spring (London 122). Because of the

I am me and you are you

623 words - 2 pages , guiding us to belief of existence before essence and ushering us to the notion of freedom of choice. These three beliefs can then be related to the characters in the existential writer Jean-Paul Sartre's "No Exit."At first reading of this statement, one notices Tarzan's word choice. "Me Tarzan, you Jane" implies that Tarzan and Jane are not one and the same. Instead, they are two different people who lead very different lives. Tarzan, the Ape Man

Viktor Frankl’S Logotherapy

848 words - 4 pages Viktor Frankl was an existential psychologist born in Vienna in 1905.(3) Frankl believes that man needs to find meaning in the chaos of life. The key to life as Frankl saw it was to find something above and beyond one's reach to aspire toward.Frankl developed his ideas based on his experience in World War Two. During this time Frankl spent three years in various concentration camps throughout Europe. He experienced the worst suffering imaginable

Psychotherapeutic Approaches To The Case Study Of Ellen West

3337 words - 13 pages . Unfortunately West was unable to attribute any decisive valence to either of her contradictory pursuits, and was therefore consumed.An interesting narrative which best illustrates the existential dilemma faced by West, or any sufficiently conflicted person for that matter, is that of the man caught between two cups of water. Both cups are equally as cold, equally as refreshing, and equally as suited for the man's needs at that particular moment in space and

Existentialism in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

1779 words - 7 pages Existentialism in Things Fall Apart          Chinua Achebe presents his audience with an interesting twist to a contemporary school of thought in his work Things Fall Apart.  This post-colonization narrative incorporates several traits that revolt against normative philosophic systems and tralititious theories and beliefs of the existence of man and his place in the universe.  Achebe's efforts are characterized by a small diverse

Nihilism in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

2412 words - 10 pages Kurtz, the reader can witness a man who lacks restraint due to his acknowledgment of purposelessness, thus becoming a nihilistic hero. Marlow's search for such a man is the ultimate goal of the novel. It is then Conrad's goal to lead the reader through vagueness and pessimism to a conclusive void. The novel's conclusion ultimately portrays existential nihilism, where Kurtz's last words confirm the world's meaninglessness and Marlow becomes more

Similar Essays

Story About A Wealthy Incompassionate Man And The Building Of His Hotel

833 words - 4 pages hills, as he wiped his heavy Neanderthal like brow with a handkerchief. Dr Cook emerged from the stable after running his favorite stallion, wearing a fine pair of English riding boots and carrying a riding crop. Addeneye Cooke was a handsome, but cruel man in his early fifties who stood just over six feet tall. A Scottish Terrier pup that was playing by the fence got his attention. Quickly glancing around, convinced that no one else was about the

Dostoevsky’s Crime And Punishment And Shakespeare’s Macbeth

1401 words - 6 pages   Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment explore the psychological depths of man. These two works examine tragedy as represented through the existential beliefs of many philosophers. Existentialist theory expresses the idea that man can satisfy his own needs, regardless of social codes, if he has the energy and ambition to act. Both Macbeth and Raskolnikov have the ambition to act, but each struggles internally with their

Finding An Existential Ethic Essay

1732 words - 7 pages . When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be. Inez: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It’s what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one’s made of. (333)   Passive belief does not constitute existential faith. It is through action that human essence is defined. Personal, active commitment is paramount to an existential ethic.   A second foundation of

Exploring The Differences Between Existential Freedom And Traditional Freedom

624 words - 2 pages For centuries the term “freedom” had been a heavily discussed topic for many reasons. It has acquired many different definitions, understandings and ideas on how it affects our everyday lives. In the eyes of a Philosopher it takes on two extremely different and contrasting views. These views are what we call: Existential freedom, and traditional freedom. Though the two accounts of freedom in turn, have preferable views and critical perspectives