Representative Works from Existentialism

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The Brothers Karamazov

Most of Dostoevsky's works concerned the existentialist struggle between freedom and responsibility, but it was handled with significant grace in his last novel, The Brothers Karamazov, first published in 1880. In this book, a son kills his father, while his two brothers, each for his own reasons, feel a sense of guilt over having let the event occur. One chapter in particular, "The Grand Inquisitor," is instrumental in promoting existential themes long before the term "Existentialism" even came into usage. This section, a dream sequence, concerns a debate between an inquisitor who represents the devil, and Christ himself, regarding the question of whether humans are or should be free. This book has long been considered Dostoevsky's most brilliant work, the most thought-provoking novel by one of Russian literature's most philosophical writers.

The Immoralist

André Gide was a great influence on the French existentialists, particularly his...

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This section contains 1,516 words
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Buy the Existentialism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Existentialism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.