Existentialism Essay

Existentialism Essay

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Rarely in this world does something turn out as an objective or even partially objective matter. One must always assume some set of axioms as true. In math, sixteen axioms exist for one to properly utilize and prove things with merely real numbers, one of the first and simplest tools in a person’s arsenal. Most of these aren’t that hard to agree with, like “for all x and y in the set R, x + y = y + x,” but other principles and ideas contain much more controversial assumptions such as, “God exists.” Within this world, the only truth one can believe resides as one’s consciousness.

Enter existentialism, a philosophy that humans give meaning to their own lives and have responsibility over them as well. Another way of looking at it: “Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe.” (To become better cited later; from our class notes) Whether or not a certain individual’s environment qualifies remains an open question; however, characters in books more often than not live within a well defined setting that subjects itself to the scrutiny of others. Since the innermost thoughts and feelings of a character in a book lie in clear view, the label of existentialism easily applies to that character if appropriate.

A man named John Fowles integrated much of the philosophy into his book, the Collector, and as such, the topic of this paper relates to his work. In the tale, a girl named Miranda Grey gets kidnapped by a man named Fredrick Clegg and through their interactions, identification of many key themes of existentialism occur to the observant and educated reader. These key themes exhibit themselves through the nature of Miranda’s environmen...


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...e respect for Miranda and labeled her off as, “one of those girls” when she tried seducing him. He viewed the situation as though one could pick either black or white, and thought that the world would be better off with more people like him. One could label these differences as opposing liberal and conservative views.

“Because they hate us, they hate us for being different, for not being them, for their own not being like us. They persecute us, they crowd us out, they send us to Coventry, they sneer at us, they yawn at us, they blindfold themselves and stuff up their ears. They do anything to avoid having to take notice of us and respect us. They go crawling after the great ones among us when we’re dead. They pay thousands and thousands for the Van Goghs and Modiglianis they’d have spat on at the time they were painted.” (218 Collector)


Works Cited
The Collector

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