The Ultimate Fulfillment in Man's Fate by Andre Malraux Essay

The Ultimate Fulfillment in Man's Fate by Andre Malraux Essay

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The Ultimate Fulfillment in Man's Fate  


      In Man's Fate, Andre Malraux examines the compelling forces that lead individuals to join a greater cause. Forced into a life of contempt, Ch'en portrays the man of action in the early phases of the Chinese Revolution.  He dedicates himself to the communist cause.  It is something greater than himself, a phenomenal concept that he has fused into.  It is something for which he will give his life.  How did this devotion come about?  A combination of his personality, his interior life, as well as society's influence, molded him into a terrorist. Ch'en is self-destructive; he is controlled by his religion of terrorism and his fascination with death.  He is representative of the dedicated soldier who begins as a "sacrificial priest" (4) and ends as a martyr.  After all, the ideologies of communism and terrorism were practically a religion to those involved in the revolution.

 

An examination of Ch'en's past gives us an idea of how he formed his beliefs, and fell into a state of isolation.  At an early age, his parents were murdered in the pillage of Kalagan.  In addition, at age twenty-four, his uncle was taken hostage and killed because he couldn't afford the ransom, and with no wife or children he was severed from any attachment to a family. He was practically brought up by pastor Smithson, representative of the thousands of Christians that were present in Shanghai, who gave him his Christian education.  However, "[a]s he was devoid of charity, a religious calling could lead him only to contemplation or the inner life; but he hated contemplation and would only have dreamt of an apostleship, for which precisely his absence of charity disqualified him" (64).   Thus, he was u...


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...reams which take possession of us because we give them force, but which we can just as easily deny" (180).  This is further reinforced by Ch'en's idea that  "In the last hour I have felt nothing of what used to weigh on me" (192).  Ch'en is the terrorist for the insurrection. His faith had isolated himself from the world instead of submitting to it.  We have a personal need for connection, Ch'en is isolated until the end, when all differences are subsumed. Communism gives a sense of escaping isolation.  For under this ideology there is a personal connection and a feeling of equality.  It is the ultimate fulfillment to live his idea, and more importantly to die for his cause - a cause that is much greater than the individual.  In the end Ch'en becomes the bomb.



Bibliography

 Malraux, Andre.  Man's Fate:  La Condition Humaine. New York: Vintage Books.  1990

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