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Tryst of Existentialism with Realism in Veronica Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

Autor:   •  February 5, 2017  •  Dissertation  •  686 Words (3 Pages)  •  156 Views

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Existential themes permeate our society, supporting the notion that no matter, how much we hide; there is no running away from what it means to be human. Although our society is quick to assuage the anxiety bought on by existential awareness, the themes are there, and it is up to us as the new existentialists to tease the awareness out and in consciousness. In many ways we have limited our reach by remaining in our Ivory Tower, discussing themes that one needs extensive education to understand such as “Dasien”. We also limit our reach by discussing philosophers such as Nietzsche, Sartre, and Kierkegaard when many of the people we desire to impact are unfamiliar with philosophy and how it may apply to their life. They simply want to know what help is available.

The world needs what existentialism psychotherapy has to offer; the culture is crying out for vivification for enlightenment and to awaken and to transform. In order to meet that need, it is necessary to introduce learn to speak the language of the people and introduce them to the works of existentialism on their terms. It is necessary for these existentialist thoughts to meet with realistic thoughts. There are many existentialist thinkers in our world who are saying the same things but in different languages. Paulo Coelho’s “Veronika Decides to Die” tells the tale of a young woman who attempts suicide, and it isn’t until she is told that she is not going to live she decides to truly live.

In “Veronika Decides to Die”, Paulo Coelho addresses the fundamental questions asked by millions: what am I doing here today? And why do I go living?

Twenty-four year old Veronika seems to have everything she could wish for: youth, beauty, plenty of attractive boyfriends, a fulfilling job, and a loving family. Yet something is lacking in her. Inside her is a huge void, so deep that nothing could possibly ever fill. So, in the morning of November 11, 1997, Veronika decides to die. Hoping to leave the world as uneventful as she believed her life to be, she presumes that her attempt to die will be easy, she takes a handful of sleeping pills expecting to never wake up. Naturally Veronika is stunned when she does wake up at Villete, a local mental hospital, where the staff informs her that she has, in fact, partially succeeded in achieving her goal. While the overdose didn’t kill Veronika immediately, the medication has damaged her heart so severely that she has only days to live.


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