What Are We Doing Here? Essay, Research Paper
What are we doing here is a question that simply does not have a right or wrong answer. It’s a question that is thought about often by many. From person to person the answer to this philosophical question differs. The following paragraphs will enlighten you on the views of Swift, Twain, Beckett, Sartre, Sophecles, Dante, Voltaire, and myself.
By writing Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift implies that people were put on this earth to experience life and see it through different perspectives His voyages take him everywhere and each place he goes, he see’s life a completely different way. Back home in England, Lemuel Gulliver is a respected surgeon. He fits in perfectly there is nothing unique about his life there. He is simply normal. His travels take him to places such as Liliput where is he’s imprisoned and treated like an evil criminal because he’s huge in comparison to the six inch Liliputians. In Brobdingnag he learns what it is like to be treated as a toy. He’s a tiny person compared to the huge giants and they felt that he was more of a trinket or a pet rather than a human being. Then in the land of the Houyhnhnms and Yahoo’s he see’s life through the eyes of a lower class citizen, almost an animal. He resembles the Yahoo’s , therefor the horses believe that he is one. They think that he is wild and unusual and does not deserve to be treated with respect. He experiences what it feels like to be dumb and unimportant. He also realizes what it feels like to be judged based upon what you look like or resemble. Through this information, Swift indicates that we are here to live life to its fullest, experience it, and most of all learn from it.
The Mysterious Stranger, written by Mark Twain, is a story of a young boy and his experience with a greater being, Satan. At first the boy thinks Satan is a great person. He helps him out whenever he needs it, he has complete control. Satan pleases the boy and his companions by making everything pleasant and enjoyable. After awhile, the tables turn and Satan takes control over everything. People that he had created and once cared for were suddenly dying of some awful illness or being tried for something they didn’t do or being killed in cold blood. From this short story, Twain implies that you think you know what you are doing and that you think you have control, but in actuality, you don’t. People are naive and they do not realize that they are lacking control of their lives. Everything that you do and the reason you exist depends on someone else’s power.
Vladimir and Estragon do absolutely nothing. Every single day, they come and kill time by a big tree because they are awaiting for the arrival of a special man that goes by the name of Mr. Godot. They wait for him day after day and hour after hour but he never shows up. They talk about killing themselves because they are tired of waiting for the time when Mr. Godot might actually show his face. However, they never follow through with their creative ways to die. A messenger gives them an incentive to live and constantly stand there as their lives pass them by. The young boy comes by daily to tell them that Mr. Godot is sorry that he can not make it today, but he will be here tomorrow. So Estragon and Vladimir continue to wait by the big tree. In Waiting for Godot, Beckett is telling you that everyone is here waiting for something. A person exists because he or she is expecting something. If a person is not waiting for something, they would not be here.
Three people are randomly selected to be placed in one small room in hell. They didn’t know each other before hand and they really didn’t have anything in common. They are sentenced to spend eternity in one room with nobody but each other. Although none of them realize it, in No Exit, Voltaire puts the three of them together for a specific purpose. The same concept applies to why we are here. Everybody is born and lives life with a purpose that they do not know about. Nobody’s purpose in life is the same. Each individual is blessed with a unique purpose for being here, some are good and some are not. One person might be here to murder someone and another person might have been placed here to become President of the United States of America. No matter what the purpose is, everyone has one and that is why Sartre believes we are here.
According to Sophecles’ Antigone, we are put on this earth to help others. Antigone risks her life to bury her brother. The man in charge of the kingdom ordered that he not be buried because he died fighting against his country. However, Antigone felt that it was her duty as his loving sister to risk death and imprisonment just to bury a decaying corpse that once resembled her brother. Antigone’s life would have been completely different if she had not chosen to help her brother. Therefore, we are here to help and work with other.
Fron Dante’s Inferno, you learn that we are here to be judged later in life. Every action we take no matter how small affects were we end up in the long run. Helping or not helping an old woman cross the street could determine your path in life and death. In Dante’s Inferno, as Virgil and Dante first enter hell they come across the angels that chose not to fight with either Michael or Lucifer in the battle of Heaven. Because they didn’t pick a side, they are stuck outside of hell and outside of Heaven forever. Dante is trying to tell you, that you are hearing making choices not that will effect how you are judged in the afterlife.
In Candide, Voltaire leads you to believe that we are here to live for the ones we love and care about. Candide fell in love the once beautiful Cunegonde. He was exiled from h is home town because of his strong feelings for her. He traveled from place to place enduring sometimes awful situations and the whole time he thought about her and his other close companions. When he found his loved ones, he paid large sums of money to get them back. Instead of giving up, he went on with his difficult life because he knew there were people that deeply care for him. He kept himself going because of other people. According to Voltaire, you are here to be with others. To help them experience love and pain, happiness and sadness, and much more.
What are we doing here? I have thought about this questions many a times. The more I try to answer this question, the more my answer changes. People are on this planet and are alive because they were destined to be here. It was meant for them to be born a human rather than a flower or a grasshopper. Everything that they do was meant to be. If a person has a severe terminal illness and they pass away at the young and tender age of twelve, there was never anything you could have done about it. Their path was predetermined by a power of which you have absolutely no control over. Destiny brings you people and memories. Destiny also is the reason we are here doing whatever we might be doing.