Jean-Paul Sartre Questions and Answers

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What are Sartre's definitions for these three terms "anguish," "forlornness," and "despair"? How does he distinguish among them?

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Sartre uses these three similar terms to define very specific things so that he can clarify very specific emotions. Anguish, forlornness, and despair all have similar denotations, but Sartre uses them differently.

Anguish is defined as one's understanding of their own freedom and choice, and specifically the emotional burden that places on an individual. Because we as humans were created with a need for structure and discipline, our separation from that makes us wary and uncomfortable, which puts us in a state of anguish. While freedom is often seen as a beneficial thing, Sartre argues that the human soul was intended for a sense of structure, and therefore the freedom we experience is too loose from what we expect and need.

Forlornness is related to the idea or understanding that there is no God. Without God, it is easy to feel alone in the universe and without purpose. The term "forlorn" captures this feeling appropriately, because we are left in a meaningless existence, and our free...

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