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An Analysis of the Influence of European Existentialism on the Work of the African-American Writer, Ralph Ellison

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THE INFLUENCE OF EUROPEAN EXISTENTIALISM ON THE WORK OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN WRITER
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Introduction
European existentialism
Existentialism is a philosophical approach in which a person believes that he/she can exist as a free person who can achieve his developments willingly without the influence of another person (Cleary, 2015). It is an independent mindset that revolves around self-belief and dedication towards achieving stellar performance. The approach has been influencing lifestyle of many individuals in Europe and other parts of the world presently. In the European context, existentialism refers to works done by European philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard, Jean-paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Fyodor Dostoevsky in the 19th and 20 centuries. They believed that human philosophy is derived from the human subject such as the individual feelings and actions. In other words, each is driven by his/her own emotions towards performing certain duties.
In particular, Soren Kierkegaard is regarded as the first European writer to bring clearly out the idea of existentialism in the 19th century. In his writings, he asserted that human beings were responsible for the nature of life and standards of social engagement in the world, meaning that every individual contributes to the meaning of life. According to Languilli (2008), Kierkegaard proposed that it was the responsibility of every individual to make life meaningful by living it in a sincere and passionate…

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