Existentialism is a vast and detailed philosophy that supports a diverse collection of responses and solutions to the ‘existentialist attitude’, which is what an individual feels when confronted by the absurdity of life. In “Eveline”, James Joyce tells a story about a nineteen year old girl that is about to leave home. She has fallen in love with a sailor named Frank who promises to take her with him to Buenos Aires. She must make a decision on whether to stay with her father or leave with the man she barely knows. “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka narrates the consequences of a metamorphosis in which the main character, a man named Gregor Samsa, is transformed into a giant insect. In Albert Camus’, “The Guest”, Daru is struggling with a dilemma. He is left with the decision to give the prisoner his freedom or deliver him to authorities. The schoolmaster has responsibility for the Arab, but he refuses to make a decision for someone else, as it is against his beliefs. Throughout these three stories, the characters experience existentialism in some form through their choices. Eveline Hill sits at a window in her home and looks out onto the street while fondly recalling her childhood, when she played with other children in a field now developed with new homes. Her thoughts turn to her abusive father who she lives with, and to the idea of freeing herself from her hard life juggling jobs as a shop worker and a nanny to support herself and her father. Eveline faces a difficult decision: remain at home like a dutiful daughter, or leave Dublin with her lover, Frank. He wants her to marry him and live with him in Buenos Aires, and she has already agreed to leave with him in secret. Before leaving to meet Frank, she hears an organ grinder outside, that reminds her of a melody that played on an organ on the day her mother died and the promise she made to her mother to look after the home. At the dock where she and Frank are ready to embark on a ship...
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