Analytic Essay on Saint Augustine's "Confessions"

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Vida Ugochukwu
Introduction To European Civilization- Midterm-Essay

In his book Confessions Saint Augustine uses the theme of stoicism and Platonism throughout the different chapters (or in these case books) in throughout the entire book. He shows us his struggle with evil and the nature of God and how he overcame and found a solution for both issues. Saint Augustine uses stoicism in abundance throughout Confessions. Stoicism is when you show no strong emotion toward something that would usually cause someone else to be very emotional. An example of what stoicism is, is in the passage from The Enchiridion (Epictetus 1997, 18), “…if you embrace your child or wife, that you embrace a mortal - and thus, if either of them dies, you can bear it…” Augustine uses stoicism when he talks about how it is bad and that it is a sin when a baby cries for everything, including things that can hurt the infant. He also shows stoicism when he talks about the loss of his friend. When he is talking about his friend it seems that the only reason he misses him so much is because he is the only person who he told everything to instead of the fact that he will just miss him for who is. It seems that Augustine is as stoic as he is because of the way he grew up and the fact that his mother was a Christian and his father was not. He seemed to have been going back and forth in how he viewed life because he seems very conflicted in the first couple of books. Augustine once again shows how stoic he is when he made a bigger deal of his friend’s death than his own mother’s death. When he lost his friend in book four, he seemed more hurt and it seemed to affect him more than when his mother died. Although he did show that he was greatly affected by his mothers passing, it seemed that he was more set on hiding his emotions, and he spent only about a page or so mourning about his mother’s death, but he spent about three to five pages mourning the death of his friend and how that affected...
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