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The Stranger (Humanism And Existentialism) English Essay

1335 words - 6 pages

Tejasvi Singh
Ms. Zilelian, Ms. Finn
English 12
17 October 2017
We as humans thrive by recognizing patterns and connections. The connections we make are usually altered to our means. What I mean by this is, whatever we connect, whatever we read, whatever we hear, we interpret it to our own needs. Basically it is in our nature to put a twist on what another may say, write, anything, for it to actually mean something to us. What we take from it reflects our lives, what’s going on in our lives, the problems we have, the desires we have, the knowledge we hold. This does not only pertain to what we take from wherever but also in the works we do and the actions we perform. Almost holding this same idea that we act to give our lives meaning. Many pieces of writing may have similarities and connections, but few intertwine so intricately. “The Stranger”, by Albert Camus and “The Bet”, by Anton Checkov are the two pieces I’m referring to. The two connect on many levels. Both written works take on philosophies which go hand in hand; Existentialism and Humanism. Humanism is the philosophy which emphasizes human wishes and needs. Existentialism is the concept that the existence of an individual is emphasized as free; determining their own fate through free will. The Stranger by Albert Camus shows existentialism first hand through a character by the name Meursault. We get a play by play on his life and how he develops through his own actions. The Bet by Anton Chekhov involves Major themes of both existentialism, humanism, free will, and the meaning of life. Both texts are connected through these ideas. sisyphus’’’We as humans act according to our wants; through this we also hold the power to determine our fates and future. Roughly speaking, taking action in our desires is free will. |story of a god pushing rock up hill ongoingly,,gives life purpose-> The bet is all about how living life any which way is far off better than death.
Both pieces depict man in the face of both extraordinary and ordinary circumstances. Both characters perform actions which can be argued as bizarre. In The Bet the young lawyer goes as far to be voluntarily imprisoned for 15 years. This all started when the young lawyer was asked to give his a opinion on the death sentence and the life sentence. The lawyer stated, “The death sentence and the life sentence are equally immoral, but if I had to choose between the death penalty and imprisonment for life, I would certainly choose the second. To live anyhow is better than not at all.” A banker, the host of the occasion where this is all taking place, disagrees and stakes a bet. Two million if the lawyer stays in solitary confinement for five years. To the banker’s surprise the lawyer raises the stakes telling him he’d stay for fifteen years and not five. The bet was then carried out. “Agreed! You stake your millions and I stake my freedom.” A senseless and absurd bet. For no real reason did the young lawyer do this. There is the obvious...

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