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the Age of Anxiety

             To say that the Age of Anxiety was nothing special is to completely nullify the combined sentiments of the majority of the world at that time. Before the First World War, rising living standards, increased education, and general progress, gave people an extremely optimistic view of their future and the world around them. People believed in science, philosophy, and society to bring them rational laws and standards of which to critically observe and evaluate the universe, and to guide them in their daily lives. Yet the cataclysmic destructiveness of World War One, in conjunction with continually changing ways of modern thought, seemed to not only mask all of this optimism, but also shatter it in a way that was, and still is completely unparalleled by any other time in history. .
             One area of modern thought that was hugely impacted and changed forever was that of Philosophy. The works of a man by the name of Friedrich Nietzsche, who lived from 1844 until 1900, were later discovered and revived by many radical thinkers after the war. Nietzsche believed that the conventional morality of the day was utterly backwards, and that it was hindering any real understanding or grasp of our reality and us as thinking beings. He argued that reason, democracy, progress, and respectability were all defining aspects of conventional morality, and that what we should really be concentrating on is the inner passion and animal instincts that provoke us as beings to think and act, and to be truly creative. Nietzsche also thought that religion, mainly Christianity, held within it certain moralities that in a sense celebrated negative human qualities such as weakness, envy, and mediocrity. With regards to this sentiment, Nietzsche is famous for saying that "God is dead," meaning that the people who worship and pray to him have disregarded his true worth and meaning in the realm of goodness, and have trampled their prayers with concerns of superficiality and lesser affairs.

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