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Lack of Faith in the Forgotten Novel: Sartrean Existentialism in John Williams' Stoner
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Abstract

John Williams’ modest and long forgotten American novel Stoner revolves around life choices, commitment and passions able to carry meaning in our existence. In this essay, I will explore how John Williams conveys the notions of bad faith and existence precedes essence of Sartrean existentialism through the protagonist William Stoner’s life and life choices in the novel Stoner. I will argue that the Sartrean concepts bad faith and existence precedes essence can illuminate the actions of the protagonist Stoner, in order to understand Stoner’s romantic relationships and explain his epiphany before death in the novel. Finally, the answers reveal the protagonist’s misguided belief in pursuing goals which does not align with his true passions in life. Instead, Stoner’s insights concerning his life explain why his true passions justified his life choices in the narrative.

Key words: Williams; Stoner; Sartre; existentialism; bad faith; existence precedes essence

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 21
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151549OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151549DiVA, id: diva2:1174076
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Available from: 2018-09-18 Created: 2018-01-15 Last updated: 2018-09-18Bibliographically approved

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