Existentialism In 13 Going On Thirty By Jean-Paul Sartre

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In his lecture, Existentialism is a Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre discusses common misconceptions people, specifically Communists and Christians, have about existentialism and extentanitalists (18). He wants to explain why these misconceptions are wrong and defend existentialism for what he believes it is. Sartre argues people are free to create themselves through their decisions and actions. This idea is illustrated in the movie 13 Going on Thirty, where one characters’ decision at her thirteenth birthday party and her actions afterwards make her become awful person by the time she turns thirty. She was free to make these decisions but she was also alone. Often the idea of having complete free will at first sounds refreshing, but when people…show more content…
Sartre describes anguish as what someone experiences when they realize the profound and full responsibility of their choices to themselves and humanity (25). Sartre explains anguish by describing the responsibility a military officer faces. A military leader gets a vage order from a higher up that he must use his own knowledge of his troops and location to choose how to go about fulfilling the order (27). This situation depicts the anguish described by existentialism because the military officer has to realize his decision will directly affect his troops, himself and the greater effort of the army. Additionally, free will results in the feeling of abandonment. Sartre describes abandonment as the understanding that we are alone and “cannot find anything to rely on”(29). This means there is no one that can validate a person’s actions and they must take full responsibility for what they do. Sartre describes abandonment through the dilemma one of his students faced. His student came to him for advice because he had to choose between staying home and taking care of his heartbroken mother or leaving to fight evil and avenge his brothers death (30). Sartre told him that he and he alone could make the choice (33). If if he tried to avoid deciding by seeking the advice of someone else, he would still be making a decision. Who he would chose to consult would depend on the advice he wants to receive; if he chose to go to go someone whos supported the war effort, he would be making the choice he wants to go and fight and vice a versa (33). Sartre wants to illustrate that even if you think you are choosing not to chose or deciding based on someone else, you are still making a decision and are still responsible for that action. Finally, Sartre believes that our freedom results in despair. Sartre describes despair as the idea that “we must limit ourselves
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