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existentialism ---- Leila's Journal Prompt

on Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:24 am
Existentialism is a philosophical theory emphasizing the existence of the individual as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will. Instead of born with essence, every individual lives authentically to make his own essence. A person’s birth does not bring him his essence, while he himself has to create an essence to live on. Certainly, Existentialism is not the only one considering one’s birth and his reason for keeping himself alive. Essentialism, which is right the opposite side of Existentialism, determines that essence comes earlier than one’s birth. As we can probably get a sense of Existentialism involved in the novel <Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep>, almost all the characters are defined by this concept.
Rick Deckard, as a perfect example for struggling for his own essence of living, is one of ordinary people working hard for a real animal to replace his electric one. Clearly, what makes human so different from androids is that people live on their emotions and pursue their essence for living. Human beings act according to their own conditions and ethos, while androids purely act upon what’s in their code. As for Rick Deckard, he, as a human being, learns from the outside world that the society classifies according to what pets people raise, and thus he reacts as working hard to pursue a real animal. That’s a typical example for creating his essence – he wants to climb up the social ladder and thus lives for buying a real animal to achieve his goal. (That’s for sure that he was not born for buying an animal.) Creating his own essence, he can symbolize Existentialism, at least to some extent.
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