Existentialism is a philosophical thought that became popular and reached its pinnacle after the world war 2nd “commonly associated with Left-Bank Parisian cafes and the ‘family’ of philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir who gathered there in the years immediately following the liberation of Paris at the end of World War II.” (Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction ix).
The oxford dictionary explains Existentialism as “the theory that humans are free and responsible for their own actions in a world without meaning.” Here the ‘world without meaning’ has to be given more stress as in it the essence of existentialism lies. Existentialists explain the human world interactions as meaningless or absurd. Sartre said: “Existence precedes essence”, in his famous lecture Existentialism is Humanism. Where essence is the meaningless human condition of whatever he is which actually he is not. Simone de Beauvoir also states that a woman is not born as woman. It’s the world that acts upon an ultimately meaningless existence, which leads to more existential crises, that Camus says “there is only one philosophical problem, which is suicide”(p.11). Camus uses the allegory of the Greek mythology of Sisyphus, who was condemned to do the task of pushing a stone up the mountain only to find it rolling down and then again repeat the same, eternally. Camus suggests that human beings are also condemned the same way, human life is fettered to habit and meaninglessness. This quote from The Myth of Sysiphus gives us the clue:
“ To tell the truth, it is a futile question. On the other
hand, I see many people die because they judge that life is not
worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed...
... middle of paper ...
...amus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus. Trans. Justin O’Brien. London: Hamish Hamilton Publishers, 1961. Print.
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. New York: Vintage Books, 1956. Print.
Camus, Albert. The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt. Trans. Anthony Bower, New York: Vintage Books,1991. Print.
Das, Arnab. The Sisyphean Men: Albert Camus’ Absurd Heroes. Pondicherry University Thesis, 2014. Print.
Dave, Jagdish Chandra. The Human Predicament in Hardy’s Novels. London: Vintage Books, 1985. Print.
Flynn, Thomas. Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
Hardy, Thomas. The Return of the Native. Hertfordshire :Wordsworth Classics, 1995. Print.
Thompson, Frank H. Hardy’s The Return of the Native. Lincoln: Cliff Notes, 1964. Print.
Williams, Merryn. A Preface to Hardy. New York :Longman group, 1976. Print.
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