Sometimes it is easier to blame other for our wrongdoings, than to admit to oneself and taking full responsibility for our own actions. In the book Existentialism and Human Emotions, the author, Jean-Paul Sartre address the statement, “existence precedes essence” and makes two logical conclusions such as freedom and responsibility that ties to the concepts of anguish, forlornness, and despair. The understanding of “existentialism precedes essence” is an awareness that there is no predefined pattern for human beings that we must fit into, therefore, every choice we make or do not make is composed by own our decision and judgement. Sartre claims implicates that we create our own meaning, and place our own values on our acts. Although admitting a truth about oneself and taking full responsibility of our own actions is sometimes a tough understanding to endure, it is still agreeable that existentialism is an optimistic philosophy due to the idea that we have still have this freedom to make our own decisions.
First, Sartre claims that to accept the idea of “existentialism precedes essences” you must first understand the idea of anguish.
The man who involves himself and who realizes that he is not only the person he chooses to be, but also a lawmaker who is, at the same time, choosing all mankind as well as himself, can not help escape the feeling of his total and deep responsibility (Sartre, Pg. 18).
In other words, anguish is what we feel when we recognize that we must choose…