The ideas of free will and the abilities to choose something in accordance with personal ideas and interests are considered to be one of the major ones in many Sartre’s works and writing. He made wonderful attempts to unite his unbelievable and captivating ideas concerning free will and all those outside sources which may influence this will and human choice in some way.
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Jean-Paul Sartre introduced one of the most idealistic understanding of freedom and the relations which happen between people under different circumstances. His ideas, suggestions, and lessons may be tracked in many popular fictional novels, and one of them is the famous Stephenie Meyer’s book Twilight.
This story is full of many interesting characters, and one of the most appealing to me is Isabella Swan also known as Bella. Her story and situation may be analyzed from Sartre’s existential perspectives in many ways: though she is free and able to make certain decisions, she is still bound by some conditions, rules, and different opinions which prevent her own happiness and love.
In her Twilight, Meyer tries to unite the ideas of freedom and choices and represents a captivating story about love, relations, and circumstances which always play a crucial role; its main character Bella and the ideas of free will have much in common with Sartre’s teachings because her freedom of choice cannot be destroyed by numerous external circumstances but vice versa be improved and strengthened.
To evaluate Sartre’s ideas about free will and the freedom of choice, it is very important to find the story that touches upon all these issues carefully, without a certain passion or predictions. The idea to analyze a popular novel by Stephenie Meyer Twilight seems to be rather powerful indeed due to several reasons.
First, the author introduces the situation when the girl, Bella, has to make a decision and choose whether it is right to develop relations with a “bad” guy, whose reputation, future, and past are not as clear as they have to be.
Bella spends much time in order to evaluate hew possible relations with Edward, their future, and her destiny. Second, the author underlines that many characters spend certain time to think over their actions, thoughts, and words before make them noticeable by other people. And finally, the main characters have to decide according to their personal demands and desires whether it is correct to develop the relations and cope with all challenges offered by this life and their destiny.
Sartre was one of those existential philosophers who paid much attention to freedom of choice and actions. To make his ideas clearer and more attractive, he admits that freedom is “known without proof and merely by our experience of it” (Hoven and Leak 79). People are free just because they feel this freedom inside; they cannot be deprived of this freedom as it is already inherent to humans.
Bella knows that she is free from everything and from anyone. She can do anything she wants because even her parents realize that her freedom is something that belongs to her only. This freedom makes it possible to observe the changes around, the cars passing by, and people looking at her (Meyer 119).
The idea of I-thou relations that is also supported by Sartre in his works may be defined in Meyer’s novel. This type of relations is characterized by the idea when two others meet and face a considerable line of decisions which have to be made.
I-thou and I-it relations are inherent to all living beings. “Our relations to the world and to our body are intimately affected by our relation to other humans as they are bodies, it is tempting to regard interpersonal relations on the same ontological level as our relations to nature” (Hoven and Leak 26).
However, the main point is that one of the main characters whose relations are under discussion is not a human being. He is a vampire, and many Sartre’s ideas are immediately put under a huge question. Is it correct to define I-Thou or I-It relations to human beings only?
Sartre could not even guess that much of his ideas may undergo considerable changes due to the consequences created by human development and progress. Relations between Bella and Edward are more similar to I-It, where It is regarded as the circumstance which have to bind the characters, however, which have to be neglected due to human freedom of choice and will.
In general, the idea to evaluate such a modern fiction as Twilight from Sartre’s existential perspectives which were introduced in the middle of the 20th century is captivating and challenging indeed. This world is constantly changing, and it is not that easy to accept all its rules and conditions.
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This is why people have to be guided by their own needs and interests like Bella did it in order to get a chance to be happy, loved, and free. Even if her choice may depend on some external factors, she as well as Sartre does not want to be under the influence of these circumstances but choose her own way and be free in her choice, life, and love.
Hoven, Adrian and Leak, Andrew N. Sartre Today: A Centenary Celebration. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2005.
Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. London: Little Brown Book Group, 2006.