Essay heading: The Theme Of Coming Of Age In Literature
A coming-of-age story - English Papers
In Sartrean terms, she sets up a problem in which each existent wants to deny their paradoxical essence as nothingness by desiring to be in the strict, objective sense; a project that is doomed to failure and bad faith. In many ways, Beauvoir's task is to describe the existentialist conversion alluded to by Sartre in Being and Nothingness, but postponed until the much later, incomplete attempt in his Cahiers Pour une Morale. For Beauvoir, an existentialist conversion allows us to live authentically at the crossroads of freedom and facticity. This requires that we engage our freedom in projects which emerge from a spontaneous choice. In addition, the ends and goals of our actions must never be set up as absolutes, separate from we who choose them. In this sense, Beauvoir sets limits to freedom. To be free is not to have free license to do whatever one wants. Rather, to be free entails the conscious assumption of this freedom through projects which are chosen at each moment. The meaning of actions is thus granted not from some external source of values (say in God, the church, the state, our family, etc.), but in the existent's spontaneous act of choosing them. Each individual must positively assume his or her project (whether it be to write a novel, graduate from university, preside over a courtroom, etc.) and not try to escape freedom by escaping into the goal as into a static object. Thus, we act ethically only insofar as we accept the weight of our choices and the consequences and responsibilities of our fundamental, ontological freedom. As Beauvoir tells us, "to will oneself moral and to will oneself free are one and the same decision."
In this lesson, we will take a look at coming of age novels, ..
What had prevented that happening decades earlier is somewhat counter instinctual. Especially at the start of the Golden Age of SF, people in the know came to understand that they could find a type of literature that offered something of a refuge from mainstream sensibilities, that something extra, some extra nuance. But SF had a reputation of being the complete opposite of that and so mainstream prejudice and it's tendency to not flock to a thing without some type of larger consensual approval insulated SF until the good-stuff-is-where-you-find-it movement of the counter-culture '60s. Star Trek and then Star Wars gave that sheen of cultural approval so one could read and watch SF without being laughed at as some weirdo, a thing real eccentrics - confident of their own tastes - could've cared less about. The more the mainstream stayed away the better. But the other counter instinctual thing in play was the human desire to share secrets and to make their weirdo hobby acceptable, to see it respected and honored and on the big screen and best-seller lists so as to confirm their good tastes. The two cannot exist side by side for very long.