Comment on Existentialism in European Literature.Comment on Existentialism in European Literature.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The idea of commenting leads this wide open to interpretation.  One of the best example of existentialism in European Literature had to have been represented by Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."  The central tenet of existentialism is the forlorn condition of humanity.   Existentialists stress that there is little in way of transcendence, existence preceding essence, and the idea of individuals not having any respite from having to make agonizing decisions where pain is the only permanent reality are all on display in Beckett's work.  The idea of "nothing" happening and depicting it in the most honest and open manner is also something that is a literary expression of existentialism.  Despite the fact that many argue that "Godot" is "God," Beckett himself dismissed this, and in the process, helped to bring out the atheism that seems to be necessary in existentialism.   The play's embrace of a lack of world order or comprehensive worldview also makes it very existentialist.  In trying to depict the human predicament, the play creates a very existentialist work.  In it, there is much of existentialism on display.

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