Can Two Existentialist Characters Be Similar?

1220 words - 5 pages

If one were to read the book The Stranger and watch the movie Being John Malkovich, one might realize that both main characters have existentialist beliefs and characteristics. Are all existentialist beliefs similar and are existentialists all similar; not being an expert in existentialism and due the fact there is no defined meaning for existentialism, it becomes an opinion question. Two things can pertain to the similar group, but will always be different because no two things are ever the same regardless if they all fall under the same category. Craig and Meursault might both be considered existentialists, and while they share some similar traits they are not closely related in ideas ...view middle of the document...

The second paragraph mentions nothing about his feelings towards, but he is indifferent to everything and his reaction to his promotion; it is a safe bet that he feels indifferent towards his work. Craig, however, does not show any love for Lottie. During the movie, there is never amount that shows he loves her and most of the interactions between the two shows a negative light. Their fight, in order to become John, only shows that there is no love between the two. Craig is also not pleased with his work. Craig wishes of becoming a puppeteer and only started working at Lestercorp because of financial issues. He shows his resentment multiple times and once in John’s body he goes back to his passion of puppeteering. It is fair to say that both characters are different personality wise since they have clashing feelings and actions about their love life and their chores.

One has to look at various views in order to analyze someone, so how do Meursault, and Craig react to free will, one of the main principals of existentialism. They show their free will with their impulsive actions. During the novel, Meursault acts impulsive without thinking of consequences or how those around him will respond. His actions can range from small like when he comforted Salamano about his dog, and when he denied Marie’s marriage proposal to large such as the murder of the Arab. His response towards Salamano shows that he does not care about how others will respond to what he says, and it shows him as someone that only cares about himself. Meursault rejecting Marie’s shows that he uses his free will to conform. When Meursault killed the Arab it was a quick reaction without any thought or plan to it. It just happened. In the film, Being John Malkovich, Craig shows his free will through his impulsive actions. His actions all happen for a reason, either to become John or to win Maxine. Craig wanting to win Maxine is free will that is very planned out and concise. This is the opposite of Meursault using his free will and killing the Arab without any planning or reason. Craig also uses his free will to reform his life. He has a dream to become a famous puppeteer and knows that Malkovich can give him a better chance to achieve that dream. He precedes by using his free will to become John and accomplish his dream. Both Craig and Meursault use their free will repeatedly throughout their stories, but their usage and reasoning is different.

While all...

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