Essay Sample: The Nausea Short Story by Jean-Paul Sartre

Published: 2022-05-25
Essay Sample: The Nausea Short Story by Jean-Paul Sartre
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 622 words
6 min read

In the Nausea short story, the narrator goes through a type of experience that is absurd. The narrator does not want to think. He does not want to realize that he exists, rather, he thinks he exists in someone else, or for someone else (Sartre 97). The more he thinks, the more he gets confused. It is like the narrator lives in a world he does not understand.

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The experience of feeling to be non-existence comes from the narrator's thoughts. It is through what he thinks, that the narrator experiences the next feeling. At one time, the narrator thinks he does not exist. (Sartre 98) He does not want to think, the next minute, he finds himself thinking about something different. Thinking is unavoidable to the narrator (Sartre 99).

The experience is provoked by the narrators' lack of knowledge between a human and an animal. At one time, the narrator states that he is an animal. When he looks at himself, he compares himself with an animal. For instance, the narrator compares his hands to a claw. He scratches himself just like the claw does. He feels his hand, an existence he does not want to believe (Sartre 99). The experience of wanting to know whether he exists is also provoked by the narrators need to feel and sense everything. At one time, he puts his hand on the table, it becomes heavy at the ankle. The next minute, he puts it in the pocket, he now feels the warmth of his body. The narrator becomes uncomfortable and removes the hand from the pocket, puts it behind the chair, it is now heavy at the end of his arm, it exists (Sartre 99, 125). The thoughts are culminating in a manner that is pervasive as he is overpowered by nausea which is spreading all over the body.

The experience had the effect of the narrator accepting that he exits under all circumstances. Even if he compares himself with anything, he still exists. Moving to the wall and feeling it, it exists, cutting his hand, the narrator realizes he exists (Sartre 101). It is an endless feeling of existence in whatever the narrator does. In his feeling of existence, he realizes that Antoine Roquentin is not dead (Sartre 102). Each day, the narrator is in denial that anything existed. However, he realizes that existence is inevitable; it is real and there to stay (Sartre 128). His nausea had not left him and he has to bear it; nausea is him and it will not walk away (Sartre 126). The narrator realizes absurdity in his actions, struggling against words and finding things that he did not look for; he wanted to fix this absurdity by accepting the existence of things (Sartre 129). Indeed, "existence is a fullness which man can never abandon." (Sartre 133).

The idea in the Sartre's short story, the Nausea connects with the absurd that Camus is working within the philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus. Like Camus, the narrator in the Nausea accepts that absurdity does not reside in man or the world when considering the two separately. He relates the story to the philosophy that absurdity is part of the human condition and it cannot be separated from humans. Absurd is revealed to people in a doleful illumination, it is not an idea in ones' head or the sound of a voice. By waking up each day from Monday to Wednesday and the following days in the same situation, the narrator finds himself in a hopeless lucidity state just as Camus explains in The Myth of Sisyphus (Camus 5). .

Works Cited

Sartre Jean, "Nausea," 97-133.

Camus, Albert. "The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays." New York: Vintage Books, 1991. The web

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