Existentialism is a philosophy that focuses on the life of mankind. It deals with their efforts of locating a manner in this adversarial universe. The writers follow existentialist philosophy of their texts to underpin the efforts of dejected, tormented and alienated people, how they locate themselves facing certain picks in the world. It is based on the idea that humans should pick out their paths of existence independently, and, try to make rational selections within the irrational universe. In this sense, it liberates them from the clutches of moral values, social norms, and non secular beliefs. Several literary pieces of the cutting-edge age demonstrate this philosophy in a single or the other way. Etymologically, the word lifestyles is derived from the Latin word “existere” which means “to stand out.”
Existentialism Examples from Literature
Why you? Why us for that matter? Why something? Because this second definitely is. Have you ever visible bugs trapped in amber? Well, right here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped within the amber of this moment. There is not any why.”
(Slaughterhouse-Five through Kurt Vonnegut, Chapter 4)
This quote is taken from chapter 4 of Slaughterhouse-Five by means of Kurt Vonnegut. Billy is trapped by way of the ordinary creatures, Tralfamadorians and, is saved in a zoo at their planet, Tralfamadore. When Billy asks them why did they choose him, he does not get a first-class answer. As a Tralfamadorian state, there's no purpose why Billy is chosen. There is no meaning and philosophy in the back of it. It is his destiny that has dragged him into this situation. Billy’s curiosity indicates that humans beings, as a whole, generally tend to locate extra meaning if whatever happens. However, maximum of the instances matters appear in existence with out any purpose. This quote proves existentialism as Billy is making an attempt to parent out the motive of his life in an unknown planet.
“Vladimir: Let’s be patient what he says.
Estragon: Good concept.
Vladimir: Let’s wait till we know precisely how we stand.
Estragon: On the opposite hand, it is probably bettering to strike the iron earlier than it freezes.”
(Waiting for Godot via Samuel Becket, Act I)
These lines arise in a play, Waiting for Godot written through Samuel Becket. Two Characters, Estragon and Vladimir, are watching for Godot. Here Vladimir appears to be religious and spiritual about the appearance of Godot to come and direct them. However, Estragon indicates that they ought to no longer wait and flow on. The writer uses the metaphor of “freezing,” implying humans do no longer have time to look ahead to their spiritual guidance to come and enlighten their souls. Instead, they must avail the hazard in hand and make decisions with out relying upon someone. Thus, the philosophy of existentialism shines in the suggestion of Estragon who's of the view that they need to take their own course before it's miles too late.
She said, “If you move slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you cross too fast, you figure up a sweat and then seize a chill within the church.” She was right. There became no manner out.”
(Albert Camus, The Stranger)
A character, the nurse, speaks these phrases whilst addressing Meursault for the duration of the funeral procession. The nurse places Meursault in a critical dilemma. Meursault’s words that there may be virtually no manner out points to the frustration he goes through. He realizes that he is pressured or condemned to select one or the opposite options and that there may be no escape. This is totally an absurd scenario that points to the existential state of affairs.
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy goals he located himself converted in his mattress into a tremendous insect.”
(Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis)
These are the opening lines of The Metamorphosis by means of Franz Kafka. The protagonist, Gregor wakes up within the morning and finds himself converted into a huge bug. The quote indicates that the transformation of Gregor was simply an normal event, implying that the arena round Gregor became inheritably purposeless, in preference to rational so these kind of incidents are considered normal. These lines exemplify the concept of existentialism that Gregor is living in an irrational, chaotic and meaningless world, where his depressing plight drags him into an existentialist crisis.
Existentialism Meaning and Functions
Existentialist philosophy serves as a pause for the audience. It gives them a chance to assume and contemplate upon the character of their life. It also offers them a hazard to look matters from a different perspective. Although it appears illogical to the humans belonging to extraordinary schools of thoughts, it offers them a brand new dimension to magnify their existence to peer its significance. However, through liberating humans from the chains of faith and ethical belief system, it empowers them to make their own picks. Also, it proves a second of movement for the characters.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw