Fate and Free Will in Literature

758 Words4 Pages
Oedipus Rex, Candide, Macbeth, The Cherry Orchard, and the Metamorphosis all have one obvious recurring theme; fate v.s. freewill. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus tries to beat his fate. He leaves home and travels because he is afraid of the prophecy made of him. Despite this, in the case of Oedipus, his fate was inescapable. Candide, on the other hand, defies his fate. He is fated to be separated from Cunegonde, but he keeps trying and trying to be with her. Candide goes through many obstacles, learns about life, and by the end, he learns that he must accept what life throws at him, and “cultivate his garden.” Macbeth believes that fate is on his side. When he hears about his prophecy, he immediately believes that nothing can hurt him, that he will remain King, and his children with inherit the throne. But, from the witches point of view, Macbeth’s crimes and misfortunes were fated to happen and nothing could change it. In The Cherry Orchard, it can be inferred that it was always Lyubov’s fate to lose the Cherry Orchard. It can also be debated that if enough action was taken, Lyubov could have kept the Orchard. Finally, in The Metamorphosis Kafka tries to make the point that the freewill of humans in the end cause people to be dehumanized. The big picture is that despite all these books being written in different eras with different ideals, they all have that same ambivalence about fate and freewill. And even now, that ambivalence remains. People are unsure of whether we have freewill, or all of our actions are part of a predetermined plan. So, why is it that throughout history and the present, the debate between fate and freewill remains? Predetermined fate is a hard thing to believe in because everyone has a different view on life. A ... ... middle of paper ... ...le in others it is terrible. One of the main reasons why humans have mixed feeling about fate and freewill is that while some people want to blame something/someone else for their misfortune or bad deeds, others admit that their actions are their fault and no one elses. Another way to see it is that the people who believe in freewill are afraid to admit that they cannot escape their destiny, that their life is fated to turn out a certain way no matter what they do, and that is a scary thought. I like to think that I have free will. At WMS, we might have rules and regulations, but it is our choice on rather to follow them or not. Of course if we don’t follow them, there are consequences. Just because we have free will does not mean that we can do anything we want to do without consequences. With free will comes responsibility and I know I am ready to take that duty.
Open Document