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The Sorrows of Young Jude - Sartre’s Concept of Freedom in Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life

Karlsson, Julia LU (2018) ENGK01 20172
English Studies
Abstract
Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life (2015) is about Jude St Francis, a successful lawyer
whose inability to recover from his traumatic childhood causes him to commit suicide. This essay
investigates why Jude is able to control and alter certain aspects of his life, but how he still is
ultimately and finally dominated by his emotional trauma. By applying the theory on freedom in
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943), as well as comparing it to other essays with
corresponding theory and focus, this essay examines where the depiction of Jude coincides with
Sartre’s idea of transcendent freedom, and where it does not. It draws the conclusion that
Yanagihara depicts the effects of psychological trauma as something impossible... (More)
Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life (2015) is about Jude St Francis, a successful lawyer
whose inability to recover from his traumatic childhood causes him to commit suicide. This essay
investigates why Jude is able to control and alter certain aspects of his life, but how he still is
ultimately and finally dominated by his emotional trauma. By applying the theory on freedom in
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943), as well as comparing it to other essays with
corresponding theory and focus, this essay examines where the depiction of Jude coincides with
Sartre’s idea of transcendent freedom, and where it does not. It draws the conclusion that
Yanagihara depicts the effects of psychological trauma as something impossible to transcend, and
hence the portayal of Jude ultimately suggests a deterministic rather than a Sartrerean
philosophical outlook on existence. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Karlsson, Julia LU
supervisor
organization
course
ENGK01 20172
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Literature, Sartre, Yanagihara, Existentialis, Freedom, Being and Nothingness, Tragedy, Determinism
language
English
id
8938408
date added to LUP
2018-06-04 11:41:20
date last changed
2018-06-04 11:41:20
@misc{8938408,
  abstract     = {Hanya Yanagihara’s novel A Little Life (2015) is about Jude St Francis, a successful lawyer
whose inability to recover from his traumatic childhood causes him to commit suicide. This essay
investigates why Jude is able to control and alter certain aspects of his life, but how he still is
ultimately and finally dominated by his emotional trauma. By applying the theory on freedom in
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943), as well as comparing it to other essays with
corresponding theory and focus, this essay examines where the depiction of Jude coincides with
Sartre’s idea of transcendent freedom, and where it does not. It draws the conclusion that
Yanagihara depicts the effects of psychological trauma as something impossible to transcend, and
hence the portayal of Jude ultimately suggests a deterministic rather than a Sartrerean
philosophical outlook on existence.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Julia},
  keyword      = {Literature,Sartre,Yanagihara,Existentialis,Freedom,Being and Nothingness,Tragedy,Determinism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Sorrows of Young Jude - Sartre’s Concept of Freedom in Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life},
  year         = {2018},
}