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Existentialism Project

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Jonathan Kim

on 17 March 2014

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Transcript of Existentialism Project

Purpose for existence. No path = death
Understand existentialism and absurdism, as well as their roles in the novels

Understand the similarities and differences of existentialism and absurdism
Society only sets you to false social standards.
Existentialism V
S Absurdism

Jonathan Kim and Jacob Jia
Personal response
Philosophy: The belief that meaning can be found in the universe or within the individual. Otherwise no meaning in life.
Philosophy: The belief that meaning cannot be found in the universe and life has no inherent meaning at all.
The Stranger
The Metamorphosis
are going in opposite directions in terms of their character's human self realization
Let's get started...
Where they meet
Both deny meaning to the universe
Agree that finding order in the universe is against its nature
Both are schools of philosophy
Both resulted from spread of pessimism inflicted among the world by the two world wars
Both Gregor and Meursault are alienated from society and loathed
Existence precedes Essence
Existential thought that causes oneself to separate themself from this earthly existence.
Realm of Nothingness
Mankind's freedom of choice to pave their own path
What is

Here are 4 major principles
of Existential thought
Exclusively the fact/idea that someone/something exists
When you are born you are just born and do not have a distinction.

What and who someone is as a person.
Exclusive from existence
The Stranger
, Meursault is indifferent to emotions around him; how are absurdist ideas like this prevalent in the modern world? Do you believe that absurdism will eventually lead to chaos and irrationality? Why or why not?
Deep Thinking Questions
Higher Level Question
In Kafka's novel
The Metamorphosis
Gregor strives for his own path. If in Existentialism you rest on your own path instead of a predetermined destiny then who has the right to determine the right from wrong in society?
Ones decisions and lifestyles defines one
A claim of who you are
Both Meursault and Gregor are existential thinkers; also, both Kafka and Camus described how all actions will eventually lead to death.
Everything is insignificant if you alienate yourself from God, nature, expectations and other worldly things.
In order to be truly free we must designate our own path and destiny
Gregor strongly desires to interact and communicate with his mother, while Meursault simply doesn't care about his mother, living or dead
Fate before Life
There is no control over your destiny or any other outcome of events; your path is laid out before you were born, and the Universe is indifferent from human emotions
There might be a reason in the world, but there will never be enough information to find out
A man gains complete freedom when he is deprived of false hope, and illusions of order, rationality, and meaning, according to Camus
Absurdism in
The Stranger
Meursault represents an absurdist man by:
~ Feeling indifferent to the world around him
~ Being unable to find a meaning nor purpose in his life
~ Refuses to dedicate himself to something - only acts as a passive bystander
~ Only describes the physical traits, rarely emotions (doesn't cry at mother's funeral, etc.)
~ The irrationality of the universe

~ The human life's meaninglessness

~ The importance of the physical world
~ Watching and observing (searching for meaning)

~ Heat (oppression)
~ Handling social expectations (the absurd)

~ Escaping and rebelling against the Absurd (and understanding mortality)
~ Crucifix (rational order for the world)

~ Courtroom (society as a whole)
1. "She said, 'If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church.' She was right. There was no way out."
- Man is born into life, with only death as a way out

2. "A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn’t mean anything but that I didn’t think so."
- Emotional indifference and detachment

3. "As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world...For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate."
- Shows how he is fine with being a stranger to society; also, it is his first time showing actual emotion, and shows Camus's ideas of absurdism
I disagree with Existential and Absurdist ideals
Religious conflict
The world is indifferent to the people in it
Personal Response
~ I disagree with part of existentialism and absurdism
~ Most people's mindsets rate money and a well lived life over pursuing a true passion
~ Do believe that humans will not be able to find their own meaning in life due to the lack of information
Claims/Learning Objectives
Existentialism in Metamorphosis
Concept of Metamorphosis
Apple = sin/burden
What is Absurdism?
Here are three major tenants about absurdism.
Gregor Samsa
His sole purpose was for his family till he becomes a bug
He loses his purpose and gains extreme existential thoughts
Necessity for human interaction
Limits of Sympathy
“Existentialism.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 23 Aug 2004. Web. 25 October 2012.

“Existentialism - A Philosophy.” Allaboutphilosophy.org. Allaboutphilosophy.org, 2012. Web. 25 Oct 2012.

King, David B. “Critical Existential Thinking.” dbking.net. Trent University, 2010. Web. 25 October 2012.

Banach, David. "Summary of Some Main Points from Sartre's Existentialism and Human Emotions." Existentialism. St. Anslem College, 2006. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Watterson, Bill. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Pub., 2005. Print.

Holder, R. Ward. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Calvin, John. St. Anslem College, 2006. Web. 13 Mar. 2014.

Duncan, Stewart. "Thomas Hobbes." Thomas Hobbes. Stanford University, 11 Mar. 2009. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Primitive necessities
Symbols that burden a character
Food = Primitive desire
According to Existential thought, a truly moral and good person is one who follows his own path.
Even if one acts in a way that is despicable in our standards, to an existentialist, is living his own path he is "good".
Answer to Question
Answer to Question
It will lead to chaos because you have no order in society because there is no sense of societal peace.
Only inner satisfaction can be achieved. You might be dying on the outside.
by Edward Hopper
1. "One morning, upon awakening from agitated dreams, Gregor Samsa found himself, in his bed, transformed into a monstrous vermin"
- Nonchalant tone insinuates a purposeless world to Gregor.
2. "He must go,” cried Gregor’s sister, “that’s the only solution, Father. You must just try to get rid of the idea that this is Gregor. The fact that we’ve believed it for so long is the root of all our trouble.”- Extent of sympathy from family
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