Essay on The Human Condition: Existentialism in Literature Relates to Religion

Essay on The Human Condition: Existentialism in Literature Relates to Religion

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Noam Chomsky firmly believes that novels, as well as other literary works, peer deeper into humanity than scientific theory ever will (Chomsky). Literature being a means of introspection is known to be true; a solitary manuscript contains the lives of countless characters. Slowly unearthing details, and remaining helpless as a plot twist unfolds, the reader discovers truths of not only those who cannot leave the paper bound prison, but begins to formulate who they are and how the world has warped the author. Existential pieces of writing are composed to urge the audience to seek purpose. Soren Kierkegaard, father of existentialism, provides proof that establishing one’s purpose in faith leads to a wholesome and fulfilling life. Literary authors employ the theory of existentialism to argue the necessity of religion by drawing on the frailty of the human condition.
Existentialism, when reintroduced in the twentieth century, became increasingly secular. Mirroring the societal changes caused from both world wars, writers, as well as the general population, began to stop the search for faith, and look inward searching for practices that led to self-fulfillment. Existentialist, play write, Samuel Beckett, openly ridicules believers in his play Waiting for Godot (Beckett). Making fools of those who cast their cares to a higher power Beckett started an existential revolution. The epitome of modern, existential, theory is displayed in the characters who lead lackluster lives. Atheistic existentialists believe that there is no all-powerful being that controls the universe, but that humanity lives in a state of chaos in which individual assigns purpose to life. Existential atheists do believe that, however, that, “…if God does not exist the...


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...alism”. About Atheism 2013. 15 November 2013
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Keller, Timothy. Every Good Endeavor. New York: Penguin Books. 2012. 35-160.
Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in and Age of Skepticism. New York: The Penguin
Group (USA). 2009.112-273.
Kierkegaard, Soren. Fear and Trembling. London: Everyman’s Library. 1994. 11-175.
Neal, Timothy. “Christianity is Not Important, but Christ Is”. Existential Christianity 2005. 14
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New International Version. N.p.: Biblica, n.d. Bible Gateway. Web. 15 Nov. 2013
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Scott, Marsha. “Christian Roots of Existentialism”. Slide Share 20 April 2009. 14 November
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Shakespeare, William, and Jenkins, Harold. Hamlet. London: Methuen. 1984. 68-129.

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