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What is human existence?

I always found myself admiring my environment and the

world around me. Feeling emotions of gratitude for the life given to me. Somehow I grew up

with many questions in my mind such as: Why was I created? What if I was born being someone

else how would my life be? Why do we have earlobes and flat feet? As foolish as they may

sound they were important to me because I thought it would answer my question of why was I

created or for what purpose. When we look at these through the philosophical perspective of

existentialism we realize that these questions are answered in the world around us, through the

personal experiences we have lived and from others perceptions of life. Personally, I believe that

human existence simply means that we humans were created to have a free will, to make our

own decisions whether being good or bad.

The book “The Plague” by Albert Camus is a story of humans fighting against the most

inevitable to create and enjoy the beauty of life as it is until their time of expiration arrives.

Albert Camus believes that something that is inevitable has to be dealt with decency. Mr. Alain

de Botton in his opinion piece for the New York Times, draws upon the story “The Plague” to

find lesson and experiences in human nature which could be applied in todays present pandemic

Covid 19. He believes that Camus is talking to us about human nature and argues that when

Camus wondered for a minute: Why wouldn’t Sisyphus be happy? He was just meaning that in

reality we just need to focus on simple pleasures such as swimming, dancing or playing sports. In

other words he meant that we should live life as it comes with humor and with love. While on the

other hand Matthew Sharpe shares similar views with Alain of the book “The Plague.” He focus

more on the theme heroism and and thinks that Camus articulated a great insight of both ordinary

and extraordinary virtue. He believes that we should take the behavior of these people in the

story and use it as an example to consider creating a different world which we will live here after
the Corona Virus pandemic. He also writes about the social and physiological effects caused by

the pandemic. Another point that Mr. Sharpe mentions is that he believes that “The Plague is an

allegory of the Nazi occupation of France beginning in spring 1940.” While on the other hand

Clifford Sargent argues in his video Albert Camus- The plague (La Peste) Book review that he

doesn’t think the book was an allegory for the Nazi. Clifford’s perspective of the book was more

focused on the baleful effects of religion on society. We can see this through several atheism

points he gave such as “questioning the love of God.” He questions God’s love due to the

experience that Camus and the characters had with the death of the son of the judge. He argues

why a loving God would permit such action.

After interpreting and understanding the different views of each author I understood

better the meaning of Human existence. Human existence is not only being in charge of your

own decisions. Human existence includes life of the human being as a whole. Living without

fear even though knowing that death can knock at your door at any moment. To cherish the little

things that gives value to our existence as having good healthy, having decency and helping

others even in our darkest moments, having good relationship with our loved ones, to be with

friends in the good and bad times. Human existence is the gift that God gave us to live with the

knowledge of knowing that there is an afterlife after death and knowing that we are not to fear

death if we believe in our creator. Yes we are the ones who makes decisions of our life but with

the knowledge of knowing that each decision has a consequence whether it being good or bad.

I believe that life is art as a whole. Art is a way human beings express their emotions,

their experiences and their thoughts. Art is a subjective concept, but it is inspired by things that

occur in life. The same way that Albert Camus uses literature to teach us lessons from his past
experiences and point of view. The same way art teaches us about life, experience and

perspectives that human express through the use of art.