Nothing New Under The Sun : A Look At Existentialism

1604 Words Dec 13th, 2015 7 Pages
Juan Linares
Mr. Maust
English IV AP
7 December, 2015
Nothing New Under The Sun
A Look at Existentialism The purpose of life is to be happy; to seek a microcosm of something, and there find the slot where your piece fits. Once a person has become a part of something, happiness is achieved - and life is fulfilled; the priest finds the parish, the athlete finds the field, and the baker finds the bakery. Happily do they continue on with their lives, and to them, life is fulfilled. A haze of joy and mirth shields the everyday man from the reality of their insignificance; some admit it and manage on, but others crash and crumble under the weight of the truth: for what it is worth, the deeds of a man matter as much as the grime on a snail’s
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It is regarded as new because it came of age in the mid 20th Century. This was largely through the scholarly and fictional works of the French existentialists, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir. The heavily influenced post WWII movement spurred up a whole new way of thinking; one that seldom seeks happiness as the purpose of life.
Sartre made the movement popular by defining what Existentialism meant; he wrote various works centered on his views alone. The more these works were read, the more the smiles of those with a fulfilled life faded away. Sartre is perhaps the most well-known, as well as one of the few who accepted being called an "existentialist". Being and Nothingness is his most important work, and his novel Nausea helped to popularize the movement. It may have been the relatable feeling of losing interest in things that once brought joy; or the adversity faced when ending and surviving a relationship. But Sartre’s novel Nausea left any who read it, and finished it, with a sense of bewilderment. It is stated that “Existence is not something which lets itself be thought of from a distance; it must invade you suddenly, master you, weigh heavily on your heart like a great motionless beast - or else there is nothing at all.” (Nausea, Sartre) The idea of existence, and existing, puzzled a bereft society; following the gloom of the Post-War era, the minds of many wondered the meaning of the word
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