From an Existential Vacuum to a sad Optimism: the hunt for which means and the Presence of God in sleek Literature employs a brand new theoretical method of serious research: Victor Frankl's logotherapy (from the Greek "logos" for notice or cause and infrequently on the topic of divine wisdom), a distinct kind of existentialism. at the foundation of his observations of the ability of human persistence and transcendence - the invention of that means even in the course of harrowing situations - Frankl diagnoses the malaise of the present age as an "existential vacuum," a feeling of meaninglessness. He means that a panacea for this malaise should be present in creativity, love, and ethical selection - even if confronted with discomfort or loss of life. He affirms that humans may possibly go beyond this vacuum, detect which means - or maybe final aspiring to be present in final Being, or God - and stay with a feeling of "tragic optimism." This ebook observes either the present age's "existential vacuum" - a malaise of vacancy and meaninglessness - and its eager for which means and God as mirrored in 3 genres: poetry, novel, and fable. half I, "Reflections of God within the Poetic Vision," addresses "tragic optimism" - wish whilst there seems no cause of wish - in poems through William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. half II, "American Angst: vacancy and hazard in John Steinbeck's significant Novels," provides a examine of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and The iciness of Our Discontent - novels that jointly shape a uniquely American epic trilogy. jointly those novels inform the tale of a nation's avarice, corruption, and betrayal offset through magnanimity, heroism, and hospitality. Set opposed to the backdrop of Frankl's methods of discovering which means and success - all obliquely implying the felt presence of God - the characters are consultant each american citizens, in whose lives are mirrored a nation's worst vices and most sensible hopes. half III, "A Tragic Optimism: The Triumph of fine within the fable Worlds of Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling," defines fable and technological know-how fiction as mirrors with which to view truth. J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the earrings, C. S. Lewis' That Hideous energy, and J. ok. Rowling's Harry Potter sequence are thought of within the mild of Frankl's logotherapy - supplying paths to that means and the last word aspiring to be present in God. In a postmodern, fragmented age, those works verify a continual imaginative and prescient of God (often via His felt absence) and, additionally, a so much human craving for that means even if there appears none - offering, as Frankl continues, "a tragic optimism."
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Extra resources for From an Existential Vacuum to a Tragic Optimism: The Search for Meaning and Presence of God in Modern Literature
Prior to Mark can discover a position to get the alcohol and tobacco he so desperately desires, N. I. C. E. police arrest him for the homicide of William Hingest. Imprisoned at Belbury, fearing he's going to be hanged, and bombarded with refined suggestions of brainwashing, Mark has an epiphany as he realizes that he himself is liable for his plight: In his general , factors that laid on impersonal forces outdoor himself the accountability for all this lifetime of airborne dirt and dust and damaged bottles could have happened immediately to his brain and been right now authorised. it can were “the procedure” or “an inferiority advanced” as a result of his mom and dad, or the peculiarities of the age. None of these items happened to him now. His “scientific” outlook had by no means been a true philosophy believed with blood and center. It had lived basically in his mind, and used to be part of that public self which was once now falling off him. He used to be acutely aware, with no even having to consider it, that it was once he himself—nothing else within the entire universe—that had selected the dirt and damaged bottles, the heap of previous tin cans, the dry and choking areas. (244) Mark now workouts what Frankl calls the final of the human freedoms—the skill to decide on one’s personal perspective in the direction of anguish and dying. He sees his lifestyles truly for the 1st time in his lifestyles. He has one more epiphany whilst Frost takes him to the target Room, the place at the ground below the desk is an almost-life-size crucifix, luridly painted within the Spanish type. Mark’s initiation into the genuine internal circle of N. I. C. E. contains desecrating this snapshot. even supposing he hasn't ever been a Christian, whilst instructed to spit in this inert and helpless item, he starts to work out the pass because it stands in whole “opposition to crooked Belbury”: “a photograph of what the Crooked did to the Straight—what it should do to him if he remained immediately” (333). With this statement comes the problem to select: “Supposing the immediately was once completely powerless, continually and all over to be mocked, tortured, and at last killed through the Crooked, what then? Why no longer move down with the send? ” (324). ultimately, he'll pick out, like his spouse Jane, to take a stand with the immediately. after all, it truly is Merlin who rescues him whilst Belbury descends right into a chaos similar to Babel, without one in energy in a position to communicate a coherent sentence and the wild animals selected for vivisection now freed to trample throughout the dinner party corridor. As Mark lies subconscious in the middle of this Modern schooling, an Existential Vacuum, and males with no Chests 141 turmoil, Merlin revives him, areas in his hand a letter from Dimble with directions to affix Jane at St. Anne’s, after which offers him a powerful blow at the again that sends him operating as “he had by no means run considering boyhood . . . simply because his legs wouldn't cease” (349). no longer until eventually he has long past 880 yards is he in a position to pause and glance again to determine “a gentle within the sky,” signaling the destruction of Belbury (349). even supposing Mark heads for St. Anne’s, he tarries virtually a whole day at a close-by hotel—comforting himself with a sizzling tub, sturdy nutrients, a delicate chair in entrance of a “roaring fire,” and a storybook from youth that he had by no means complete.