A Life Full of Dread & Anxiety
Existentialism influenced many assorted writers in the 19th and 20th centuries. “Because of the diversity of positions associated with existentialism, the term is impossible to define precisely. The term itself suggests one major theme: the stress on concrete individual existence and, consequently, on subjectivity, individual freedom, and choice” (Dreyfus, Hubert L., “Existentialism,” http://encarta.msn.com/text_761555530__0/Exi stentialism.html). The life of an existentialist is full of anxiety and dread.
We fear making choices because we do not want to make the wrong choice, but sometimes we like making choices because we know we will make the right one. Once we have made our choice, we have to accept it and face whatever consequences will come. But, choices are not the only things that affect who we are. Our actions play a large part in deciding what kind of person we will become as well. People are creating their own essences when they choose their actions. Religion and society are one of the choices people make as individuals. These are all based on the beliefs of existentialists. Existentialists believe that they are free of restrictions when it comes to religion and society. They have the choice of believing in a god, or not believing in a god. A final focus for existentialists is subjectivity and individualism. They believe they are at their best when fighting against their own individual character. When making these choices, you may face dread and anxiety. Dread of making the wrong choice, and anxiety when finding out the outcome of your choice. Often times when a choice has to be made, we dread making that choice for fear of an unwanted outcome. According to Camus, “The human being is capable of knowing his situation. This self-knowledge does not mean that he can overcome the contradictions of the human situations” (Camus # 8). In The Stranger, Meursault chooses to stop seeing his mom because he dreads riding the...
Cited: Camus, A. (1985). The Myth of Sisyphus. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin Books.
Camus, A., & Ward, M. (1989). The Stranger (Mathew Ward, Trans.). New York: Vintage
International; (Originally copyrighted in 1942).
Salinger, J. D. (1945). The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown.
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