Existentialism Is a Humanism Themes

Existentialism Is a Humanism Themes

Nature vs Nurture

This is a predominant theme running throughout the text. Sartre propels the notion that people are not simply born with inherent traits or an inherent ‘essence’. He states, “Il n'y a de réalité que dans l'action. (There is no reality except in action.)” this fosters the notions that one’s actions and fulfillments in life is what builds the characters of individuals. As much as people want to believe nature is the cause of an individual’s outcome, it is actually driven by their own actions.


Sartre makes an argument for identity being sewn together by one’s ability to make better choices for themselves. He dispels the ideas that “Circumstances have been against me; I was worthy to be something much better than I have been”. He further states “if I have not written any very good books, it is because I had not the leisure to do so”. There is a strong sense of responsibility attributed to oneself, and it is clear that one’s identity is the responsibility of one’s own actions.

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