Existentialism could be defined as a philosophical theory that focuses on the individual person being a free and responsible person who determines his or her own development through acts of will. Existentialism is a thesis that has been discussed by some of the greatest philosophical minds ever to live. Minds such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche all had their own view on what existentialism was and major impact on the development of this thesis. Each of these philosophies played a huge influence on a great mind that would come later on in history. That was the mind of Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre, who is considered one of the great philosophical minds, based many of his ideas around the idea of existentialism and phenomenology. Throughout this paper we will take an extensive look into the life and mind of Jean-Paul Sartre.
In this book, Forster is able to portray a reality that could become true if we, human beings, keep depending on technology for survival. Although it is very distressing that people became dependable to the Machine to the extent where they loose their humanity and become like a machine as well, with no mind of their own. It is incredible how people were not able to survive when the Machine stopped working; it is understandable that people nowadays will also have a hard time surviving without technology since we were born into a technological world. But the World will be well when people like Kuno remind humans what is really important in life.
In the novel Slaughterhouse Five Kirk Vonnegut presents a timeless antiwar story where the narrator and the main character Billy Pilgrim relive various moments in World War II and Billy's struggles between fate and free will.
Human Values and Technology in Miller's Enemy of the People, Beckett's Waiting for Godot and Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
Critic Roland Barthes has stated that “Literature is the question minus the answer.” In literature, the author of a story always presents a central question and several themes. The readers of a story are forced to create their own opinions and interpretations about the themes of the book in order to answer the central question. In Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, the story introduces the central question: Is war a result of humanity’s fate or humanity’s free will? The author’s treatment of this question is important to the reader’s understanding of the work as a whole both literally and figuratively by allowing for the development of several important themes throughout the story.
Existentialism is a Humanism, written by French philosopher Jean- Paul Sartre, was written in 1946 based on a lecture that Sartre gave at Club Maintenant in Paris in 1945. Existentialism is defined as “a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of will” (Merriam- Webster Dictionary). In Existentialism is a Humanism, Sartre portrays existentialism as an essentially optimistic philosophy. He uses key existentialist terms such as anguish, abandonment, and despair to defend his view as well as provide examples that help us to analyze his claim. After doing so, we can conclude that Sartre’s claim is wrong and existentialism
Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse-Five; or The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is, as suggested by the title, a novel describing a crusade that stretches beyond the faint boundaries of fiction and crosses over into the depths of defogged reality. This satirical, anti-war piece of literature aims to expose, broadcast and even taunt human ideals that support war and challenge them in light of their folly. However, the reality of war, the destruction, affliction and trauma it encompasses, can only be humanly described by the word “war” itself. Furthermore, oftentimes this term can only be truly understood by those who have experienced it firsthand. Therefore, in order to explain the unexplainable and humanize one of the most inhumane acts, Vonnegut slants the hoarse truth about war by extrapolating it to a fantasy world. Through this mixture of history, reality and fantasy, Vonnegut is able to “more or less” describe what he believes truly happens in war yet, at the same time, reveal a greater truth about humanity's self-destructive war inertness. Vonnegut's use of fantasy in Slaughterhouse-Five unveils mundane war misconceptions as it rallies action against war through a comparison and contrast between the Tralfamadorian world and philosophy and Billy Pilgrim's existence and war experiences.
Unless new evidence someday comes to light, the account contained in this book will likely remain the most accurate description of the events that took place in and around the hamlet of My Lai 4 on 16 March, 1968. The remainder of the book traces the aftermath of the incident, both in Vietnam and in America. This section is much more precise, for the simple reason that all the events he relates are matters of public record. The response of the American people to revelations of the events at My Lai 4 is shocking, not to mention quite instructive.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. “Existentialism is a Humanism 1946”. February 1998. Meridian Publishing Company. 15 November 2013. .
The opening paragraph of the novel evokes the consequences of unharnessed technology and contemporary man’s contented refusal to acknowledge the consequences (Watt).
Originally, technology is an ontological mode of revealing beings in their Being, but modern society has heavily distorted this essence (QCT 319). This distortion comes with the danger of “overwhelming…all other possible ways of revealing” and thereby permanently concealing the true essence of technology (QCT 309). This danger can be removed via the realm of art, where Heidegger promises a mysterious “saving power” that will return modern man to technology’s essence. More accessibly, however we can find this saving power through technology itself and its reduction of humans to a mere standing reserve. In this state, humans experience the primordial moods of anxiety and profound boredom in which they withdraw from all relationships, thus allowing for the establishment of a free relationship to technology.
What is war? Is war a place to kill? Or is it a place where something more than just killing happens? War, as defined by the Merriam Webster is “a state or period of usually open and declared fighting between states or nations.” War, can also be viewed with romantic ideals where heroes and legends are born. Even the most intelligent of us hold some rather naïve notions of war. Upon reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, intelligent readers have been divested of any romantic notions regarding war they may have harboured.
Ray Bradbury is a well-known author for his outstanding fictional works. In every story he has written throughout his career, readers will quickly begin to notice a repeating pattern of him creating an excellent story revolving around technology. However, unlike how we perceive technology as one of the greatest inventions ever created and how much they have improved our everyday lives, Bradbury predicts serious danger if we let technology become too dominant. “Marionettes Inc.” and “The Veldt” are two short stories written by Bradbury that use multiple literature elements to warn society the dangerous future if technology claims power. In “Marionettes Inc.” two men, Braling and Smith explain to each other the hardships they must deal with their
Most novels are not able to adequately present two distinct themes that oppose each other; Slaughterhouse-Five is not most novels. It is unique in almost every way, especially with respect to its themes. In Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut develops, to the surprise of the reader, the themes of both the necessity of the concept of free will and its illusion. While these themes seem to contradict each other, they are also complimentary. Kurt Vonnegut’s unique writing style enables the reader to perceive both of these themes in the text.