Existential Test prep 1 - 1. Meursault is strange because...

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1. Meursault is strange because he seems to care about nothing, he has no aspirations and doesn’t really every have a strong feeling about anything. He tends to just go with the flow. He is indifferent when his mother dies, he questions when the exact time of her death was instead of crying or reflecting on her life. He is also indifferent when Raymond asks him to be his friend. He thinks it will make Raymond happy so he agrees to be the friend of this pimp criminal. Meursault is not indifferent to Marie Cardona. He actually does care for her a bit but he still doesn’t marry her because of his indifference to marriage. Meursault could be called a hero for the truth because he does not pretend to feel more than he actually does. He does not pretend to have feelings and therefore he supports living a true and clean life unfilled with fake emotions. He recognizes the absurd in some sense. The main example of this is that he recognizes that all Sundays are the same boring thing. 2. We all have the capacity to be guilty. We all make choices in our lives and we are each responsible and accountable for our actions. We are all subject to being guilty. Clamence is confessing to help absolve his guilt, but he also is confessing so that he can criticize others because he has recognized his faults and is therefore capable of recognizing the faults in others. Clamence also thinks that we are all guilty because we all do things for selfish reasons even if it looks like we are doing them for the general good. For example, one might help an old woman across the street but he really just helped so that people would see him helping. Meursault doesn’t confess to the chaplain because he doesn’t think society has the right to judge him, also he isn’t really guilty. I do feel the urge to confess, sometimes to a friend other times to a priest. Sharing your wrongdoings allows for a sense of freedom from guilt. Someone else is able to comfort you and tell you everything is ok. You want to get the secret of your guilt off your chest. I think guilt is absolved to a degree through confession. 3. Repetition for Kierkegaard can occur during any time in our lives. Kierkegaard even claims that our pleasures in life get repetitious, that is why he advocates switching pleasures every now and then so we don’t grow tired of the same pleasures. Doing the same thing day after day sometimes causes us to have a disconnect with feeling and lose passion for life. Nietzsche might say that repetition occurs in the form of eternal recurrence. This is where the world and the actions that take place in it occur over and over and over again. It provides a certain test of your life and how well you are living it to question eternal recurrence, because if you are happy with living your life over and over then you are on the right path. 4.
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PHL 366K taught by Professor Higgins during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Existential Test prep 1 - 1. Meursault is strange because...

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