Nausea

Futility and Freedom 12th Grade

In the text Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, the main character, Antoine Roquentin, experiences both struggles and triumphs when it comes to understanding existential philosophy. The author has been famously quoted regarding his own existential views, and his novel serves as evidence for his claims. Unlike Camus, Sartre does not express support for life being a great adventure as much as he expresses that life has no final meaning. He uses Roq's experience to prove this truth as well as demonstrate the difficulty Roq has when only understanding some existential principles rather than all of them. Since existentialism is a complicated philosophy, the struggle of not fully understanding it can be detrimental. Sisyphus is regarded as an existential hero because he is led to freedom by understanding futility and hopelessness. Roq struggles to embrace freedom amongst his hopelessness. He also is faced with the difference between essence and existence which leaves him in a state of absurdity. Rationalizing the irrational is just one existential principle among a myriad of paradoxes that challenges Roq. Sartre stated a truth that "Man is condemned to be free" which is necessary to understand because the burdening awareness of the impact of...

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