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In What Ways Did 20th Century Conflicts Change the Nature of Western Introspection - Assignment Example

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The author of "In What Ways Did 20th Century Conflicts Change the Nature of Western Introspection" paper in seeking the answer to the question, ponders on the excerpts of the works of various writers: Night by Elie Wiesel; Existentialism by Jean-Paul Sartre; United Fruit Co. by Pablo Neruda…
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Extract of sample "In What Ways Did 20th Century Conflicts Change the Nature of Western Introspection"

Download file to see previous pages The 20th century period was marked by several conflicts: World War I, the Holocaust, World War II, the exploitation of Latin American countries, Racial Segregation and the Negro Revolution which spawned the Civil Rights Movement in America and the Feminist Movement.

The Holocaust is admittedly one of the most horrific events in the history of mankind and the impact of the horrors it brought changed the way Ellie Wiesel sees his faith. While Jews are known for their orthodox and unquestioning faith in God, Wiesel’s experiences in the concentration camps of Auschwitz compelled her to question God’s existence. In Night, Wiesel tells of the unspeakable hanging of a young boy who was left dangling for thirty minutes with a rope around before finally expiring: “For more than half an hour, he stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony before our eyes. And we had to look him full in the face. He was alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was still red, his eyes were not yet glazed” (64). The sight of the boy helplessly hanging in the gallows slowly dying made Wiesel questioned God’s existence: “Where is He? Here He is-He is hanging here in this gallows….” (64). It is evident from this passage that in that instant, Wiesel’s orthodox religious background underwent an upheaval and from an unquestioning, traditional Jew, he went as far as to doubt the very existence of God.

During World War II, Germany invaded France and occupied it for a period of time. Many Frenchmen went underground and formed a resistance against the Axis Powers. The experience of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in the resistance movement had largely revolutionized his perspectives in life. In Existentialism Sartre proposed that man’s existence precedes his essence. Since initially, man is without essence when he is born, according to Sartre, man is therefore like an empty cup. It is only after man has decided to pursue particular choices as he goes through life that he is imbued with his own essence – a process which is very much his sole own doing.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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