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The Absurd World of Tennessee Williams’ Plays

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Title: The Absurd World of Tennessee Williams’ Plays
Authors: Lau, Cheryl
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: I understand then why the doctrines that explain everything to me also debilitate me at the same time. Then relieve me of the weight of my own life, and yet I must carry it alone. --Camus In essence, what Albert Camus is speaking of in the above quotation, is the utter absurdity of mankind's situation in existential terms. He is dealing, more specifically , with the notion that the dilemma or human crisis which each and every individual eventually experiences is a direct result of a "confrontation between the human need and the silence of the world." The "human need," as basically refers to man's desire for clarity, order in the universe in which he exists. Man is a creature who is constantly at odds with the unknown, who continually strives to understand and to put into some meaningful order every aspect of the world around him. The "unreasonable silence of the world, " on the other hand, refers to the non-rational characteristic of the universe--the fact that the universe is neither rational nor irrational, but simply IS. In a sense, the universe is oblivious to man's attempts to unify, order, or attach meanings to it; and it is out of this confrontation between the nature of man and the nature of the universe that the very absurdity of mankind's existential situation arises. In effect, man is, by necessity, constantly questing after something which, according to the definition of his universe, is virtually impossible for him to obtain.
Pages/Duration: 47 pages
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for English

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