Nihilism In Elie Wiesel's Nemo Nobody

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"As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.” 118 year old Nemo Nobody is the last living mortal in a world where something called telemerization has created a population of semi-immortals . He tells of his life at three critical points: at age nine, age sixteen, and age thirty-four. This is no ordinary story however, as he tells of alternate life paths, often changing course with the flick of a decision or by some seemingly insignificant event. One path leaves Nemo married to Elise, a painfully depressed woman who never got over the unrequited love she had when she was a teenager and who asked Nemo to swear that when she died he would take her ashes to Mars. A second path leads to a passionless marriage with Jean, which proves to be a life of luxury and success but also of sheer monotony. A third life path consists of a fervid romance with his step-sister Anna. The two are left to spend their adult lives searching for each other after being separated as teenagers. Nemo 's life paths repeatedly intersect, with each woman …show more content…
Nobody explores multiple different philosophies, which resonate with the audience long after the film has ended. A major idea present is nihilism, the philosophy of extreme skepticism, maintaining that nothing in the world has a real existence. This often includes the belief that life has no meaning. The viewer is torn between the nihilistic suggestion that what we choose doesn’t matter and the more friendly proposition that different paths lead to different types of happiness. The butterfly effect, another major concept explored in the film, is the idea that a small and outwardly inconsequential event can have a much larger effect. This is illustrated numerous times, once when a homeless woman’s death allows Nemo to reunite with the love of his life, another when an unemployed Brazilian man boils an egg which creates the condensation that causes a rainstorm halfway across the world and smears a handwritten phone

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