Most people want to know that there life matters. That they were put on Earth to contribute to humanity and life fulfilling lives. However, there comes times in every person’s life where they question their own being. Why am I here and to what do I belong? An existentialist is mainly interesting in themselves and if they contribute to society.
Existential literature reaches out to the reader and asks the tough questions that we all ask ourselves internally. I believe we read this themed based literature simply because we want to know the answers to the question of our own existence. When reading “Metamorphosis” one may ask themselves “am I like Gregor Samsa”. Do I simply live out my life without contributing to society?
When Gregor wakes one morning to find himself nothing more than a bug, his life is finally reveled to him. He is to spend the rest of his years doing nothing but living a non-important life in his room. He wastes away eating old decomposing food and contributing nothing but grief to his family. When Gregor finally dies, his family is actually better off. This I believe is a simplistic view of how the world would be better off without those who simply waste away their lives.
Existential literature exists so that those that contribute to humanity may know how they should not live their lives. Through inner-reflection and the will to strive in life, we develop a better understanding of our own purpose in life. Existential literature gives us great examples of how we as a society should not believe or act.