sartrenotes - Sartre The Wall and Existentialism and Human...

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Sartre, “The Wall” and “Existentialism and Human Emotions” Sartre comes later in the ‘existentialist tradition’, and was a contemporary of Camus. The two are said to have run in the same circles until Sartre joined the Communist Party in France. “The Wall” can be said, I think, to invite the reader to actually experience the psychological transformation of a man into an ‘absurd hero’. Consider the following key passages: He had a terrible fear of suffering, it was all he thought about: it was his age. I never thought much about it and it wasn’t fear of suffering that made me sweat. (7) There’s a suggestion that some kind of fear may account for Pablo’s sweating. Notice that it will be very difficult to articulate what that fear is… (fear of nothing? ) (Tom) “I tell myself there will be nothing afterwards. But I don’t understand what it means… I’ve got to think… think that I won’t see anything any more and the world will go on for the others. We aren’t made to think that Pablo. Believe me: I’ve already stayed up a whole night waiting for something. But this isn’t the same: this will creep up behind us, Pablo, and we won’t be able to prepare for it.” (8) The recognition of mortality serves as the catalyst for the transformation of each of the three prisoners (Pablo, Tom (the Irishman) and Juan (the innocent brother)). Here it seems that Tom is aware of the tension between objective and subjective perspectives that Nagel discusses in his writing. It’s incredibly difficult, and perhaps even impossible, to actually imagine the world without your subjectivity in it. (F)or the past 24 hours I had lived next to Tom, UI had listened to him, I had
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sartrenotes - Sartre The Wall and Existentialism and Human...

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