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Existentialism

A brief overview of analyzing texts through an existential lit. lens.
by

Christina Weng

on 4 October 2012

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Transcript of Existentialism

Existentialism Definition: A chiefly 20th century philosophical movement embracing diverse doctrines but centering on analysis of individual existence in an unfathomable universe and the plight of the individual who must assume ultimate responsibility for acts of free will without any certain knowledge of what is right or wrong or good or bad. Soren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855) Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980) Major Concepts, Ideas, and Characteristics Single Individual Death of God Existence precedes essence Despair Meaning and Absurdity Authenticity Existential Analysis Heart of Darkness "I had some difficulty restraining myself from laughing in their faces, so full of stupid importance." - pg. 134 "...In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent ... there was a touch of insanity in the proceedings." - pg. 22 "... These little things can make all the great difference. When they are gone you must fall back upon your own innate strength, upon your own capacity for faithfulness." - pg. 60 Death of Kurtz Strengths Empathy Freedom of interpretation Immersion in to the novel Lots of grey area Identification not characterization Weaknesses Focuses on individuals Rejection of traditional questions and concerns
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