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Adventures and Perfect Moments

             Adventures and perfect moments, two decievingly simple terms to the causal observer. The philsopher Jean-Paul Sartre discusses both of these topics in his novel, Nausea, and in his essay, "Existentialism is a Humanism." Perfect moments are not easily defined because they can be different for each individual. One thing that remains constant is the need for there to be "priviliged situations" to prepare the way for the perfect moments. Adventures are not easily defined either, because each is individualized. One may consider a trip to the corner store an adventure, whereas another may see it as nothing to speak of; simply a routine. Using the characters in Nausea as pawns to illustrate his points, and defending his views from attacks in his essay, Sartre's view on humanity becomes apparent. It is that humanity has the ability to have adventures and perfect moments, because humanity posesses the freedom to do so. Also, the responsibility for having such things falls on the individual. A man is defined by his actions, the perfect moments and adventures being some highlights of that definition, and thus the basis for who he is.
             Adventure, a word that can be taken in so many ways and twisted. The definition of this word is realtive to the individual defining it. Sartre presents a fine example in Nausea. For example, when Antoine and the Self-Taught Man are sitting and talking, and the STM asks Antoine if he's had any adventures. After a brief period of reflection on his own adventures, he sends the STM away with photos and postcards of his travels. Here Sartre redefines the commonly held definition of adventure. Antoine looks at his past and realizes that adventures happen, but not as you"re experiencing them. They take on that quality and growth through the retelling and recalling of them. Sartre uses this as an illustration for his slogan, "Existence preceeds essence." Similarities to the letter opener defense from his essay occur as well.

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