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Black And White Essay

779 words - 3 pages

In Sunset Limited, Black conveys Kierkegaard’s philosophy through his own life and words. In the beginning of the play, Black and White argue over the meaning of life—the former loving it, the latter trying to end it. Early on, Black tries to identify with White’s suicidal argument by noting that “Suffering and human destiny are the same thing” (55). Of course, Black’s admittance does not mean he believes in White’s argument, but instead that he understands White’s pain. Likewise, Kierkegaard’s description of life is similar to Black’s reasoning. In his writing, Kierkegaard recounts both the painful way a person is brought into the world and then taken out of it, saying, “[…] and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.” But the undertone of both Black and Kierkegaard’s statements cannot go unquestioned, and White replies, “You’re not making any sense” (55). White fails to understand that everything is common sense for Black, who has not only suffered more than White could ever imagine, but also believes in a force outside White’s wildest dreams. Originally a convict, Black turns his life around after a near-death experience, believing God chose him of all people to talk to. He lives in hopes of delivering God’s message and love to those bereft of it, for what pain can someone experience if God is on the other side? Comparatively, Kierkegaard’s detailed analysis of despair calls the obvious solution faith alone. Somehow, Black evinces Kierkegaard’s belief through becoming a productive member of society. After believing to have heard the Savior in his sleep, Black leaves his former friends and refrains from various forms of pleasure so he can help those less fortunate than himself. In the same way McCarthy delineates the positive effects of faith on Black, he shows the negative connotations of disbelief on White. While Black believes he is alive to help others, White deems his own existence useless. On page 136, White scoffs, “Evolution cannot avoid bringing intelligent life ultimately to an awareness of one thing above all else and that one thing is futility” (136). Obviously, White rejects Kierkegaard’s solution; he’s in too much pain to see the light out. Through Black, McCarthy points out the painful essence of life and the faithful solution to it in a manner taken right of out Kierkegaard’s words...

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