Existentialism Essay

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Ever wonder why we have the term “free will” or where it originated? People believe that an individual can discover themselves as a person and choose how to live by the decisions they make; well this is where the word existentialism comes into play. Existentialism has been around since the early nineteenth century with Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophical and theological writings which, in the twentieth century, would be recognized as existentialism. The term was first coined by Gabriel Marcel, the French philosopher and later adopted by Jean-Paul Sartre, Friedrich Nietzsche and other philosophers for whom human existence were key philosophical topics; but Kierkegaard is known as the “Father of Existentialism”. Existentialism proposes that man is full of anxiety and despair with no meaning in his life, simply existing, until he made a decisive choice about the future. That is the way to achieve dignity as a human being. Existentialists felt that adopting a social or political cause was one way of giving purpose to life. Since then, existentialism has been used by writers such as Hamlet, Voltaire, Henry David Thoreau, in Buddha’s teachings, and more. Throughout the years, existentialism has been viewed from various lenses to express different ideas, emotions, as well as to expand the thought process of readers, movie go’ers, and theater lovers everywhere and has been excessively used in Kurt Vonnegut’s anti-war novel Slaughterhouse Five, Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, and in the movie Inception. Existentialism is a concept that became popular during the Second World War in France, and just after it. French playwrights have often used the stage to express their views about anything going on in the world. There were "hidden meanings" that were common throughout the period so that plays would be able to pass without being banned or censored. One who wrote best-selling novels, plays and widely read journalism as well as theoretical texts during this period...
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