existentialism research paper

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Existentialism is a philosophy the prospered throughout the twentieth century and holds a variety of important ideals such as Freedom, Individualism, and Existence and Essence. More important these ideas are illustrated through Albert Camus’ The Stranger, a novel which strongly projects the ideals of Existentialism. Through Camus’ main character Meursault the main ideas of existentialism are highlighted. Soren Kierkegaard is considered the father of the philosophy and has been contributed by many prominent figures, there are many parts of existentialism which have been developed by those same philosophers, and throughout the stranger the many points of Existentialism are displayed throughout the book.
Existentialism can be traced back all the way to the eighteen hundreds to its father, Soren Kierkegaard, but the theory did not become popular until post World War one through World War two. Post World War One America fell into its great economic depression and in consequence Germany failed to make its billions of dollars in payments to Great Britain and France and other countries, causing a devastating worldwide depression (Crowell). Naturally, the depression transformed society and made people more dubious as to their purpose in life and reason why human nature was to destroy one another. This ideology was greatly reinforced when the world saw the destruction and havoc that was inflicted upon the world during World War Two (Crowell). During world War the world developments in firepower lead to catastrophic death and destruction unlike anything ever seen throughout the course of human history. And although these developments were praised when we defeated our enemies but lead to disillusionment, which decreased religion and belief in government allowing Existentialism to grow. Although existentialism thrived during the twentieth century its roots began with founder Soren Kierkegaard, the accredited father of this philosophy( Mcdonald). Throughout Kierkegaard life, Kierkegaard wrote critical pieces on religious, philosophical, Christian, and moral issues. Through his critical works he expressed the important details of Existentialism such as living as an individual, the power or choice especially without the influence of society, and free will accompanied by accepting responsibility for ones actions(Crowell). Kierkegaard developed his philosophy through the Greeks who believed that a philosopher's work can't solely be judged on the philosopher’s ideals but also his choice of lifestyle as a whole (Burham). Kierkegaard took this principle and applied it to a Christian's lifestyle. The Christian ideal, according to Kierkegaard, all surmounts to an individual existence and their judgment from God. Therefore, an individual's life here on Earth doesn't matter, peoples impact on the world is insignificant; however, a person’s life decisions is ultimately judged by a higher power(Crowell). Other notable philosophers include Jean-Paul Sartre, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Albert Camus. Jean-Paul Sartre was a French Philosopher and playwright author after World War Two. He is known most notably for his public lecture “Existentialism is a Humanism,” which is still used as the major introduction to his philosophy ( Flynn). Fyodor Dostoevsky is a Russian novelist most famous for his works including Crime and Punishment, The idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. Although it is argued that Dostoevsky might have been an atheist Existentialism the prominent religious themes that strongly appear throughout his works say otherwise( Crowell ). Simone De Beauvoir is a particularly interesting philosopher who has recently gained fame for her works and ideas. Beauvoir is a French philosopher who is known for relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre, which is actually what curtailed her fame as many simply considered her to be echoing her male counterpart’s works(Bergoffen). Beauvoir is known for her works The Second