Existentialism, Women, and Authors

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"Judgments which evaluate a character's authenticity are tooted in the extensive body of Existentialist theory on the subject" (Donovan 225).

I think that in order to gain an understanding of why women are demoting or utilized in literature as objects of the world, then we should understand what existentialist theory is.

According to wiki "Existentialism is a term that has been applied to the work of a number of nineteenth and twentieth century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, took the human subject — not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual and his or her conditions of existence — as a starting point for philosophical thought" (Wiki 1).

This definition gave me, as a reader, a great insight into why women are used in literature so much. Women since the beginning of time, to my knowledge, have been demoted and used in negative ways. I think that many early 18th and 19th century authors used women as their basis for writing. This is because they put the female's feelings apart and started with "philosophical thought."

So can we assume that feminist criticism is based on existentialism since authors used female (humans) and their use/placement in society?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Hamilton.

3 Comments

I think that existentialism is a very hard thing to sum up in such few words as wikipedia. I was thinking about using this word for my own entry but decided against it because it is just a really difficult concept. A short and completely unbeneficial story: I had to write a paper on existentialism in Richard Wright's Black Boy. In the end, I found out I got an "E" on the paper. This was not for lack of trying. I had the teacher read over the paper and everything but for some reason she didn't like it. Luckily, my other grades were high enough in that class to give me an "A" so it didn't end up mattering. Talk about a shot to the confidence!

I think that existentialism is a very hard thing to sum up in such few words as wikipedia. I was thinking about using this word for my own entry but decided against it because it is just a really difficult concept. A short and completely unbeneficial story: I had to write a paper on existentialism in Richard Wright's Black Boy. In the end, I found out I got an "E" on the paper. This was not for lack of trying. I had the teacher read over the paper and everything but for some reason she didn't like it. Luckily, my other grades were high enough in that class to give me an "A" so it didn't end up mattering. Talk about a shot to the confidence!

I think you can take it that way, but of course don't we want to think about the changes in society, woman's rights and such, and if it effected the philosophical thought. Right?

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on March 12, 2009 4:32 PM.

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