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Jean-Paul Sartre and Existentialism An existential hero is a person who makes himself heroic Sartre in Knoebel 629 Heroes are not born heroes no more than cowards are not born cowards Existentialism holds that a person based on their actions create who they are and by extension what humankind is as well An existential hero is one who takes an active role in their life and by way of actions creates an essence out of their existence Action is one of the keys to becoming an existential hero An existential hero does not sit idly by waiting for circumstances to have an effect on their existence Rather an existential hero will take matters into their own hands and by way of action have an affect on what occurs Existentialism further holds that the actions of everyone from the coward to the hero and everyone in between contribute to the essence of humankind Not only having the freedom to take action but actually utilizing that freedom is what makes the difference between a coward and a hero Pablo Ibbieta a character in Sartres The Wall is an existential hero Freedom is the ability to exercise choice to have free will Actually utilizing the ability to exercise choice and claiming ones free will is what makes an existential hero Existentialism holds that there is no determinism man is free and man is freedom Sartre in Knoebel 623 Although Pablo Ibbieta is a condemned prisoner deprived of his physical freedom he retains his ability to exercise choice and demonstrates free will Sartre believes that man is responsible actually is condemned every moment to invent man Sartre in Knoebel 623 This invention is as a result of utilizing the freedom of choosing to act not merely waiting for circumstances to act upon one The three prisoners in The Wall demonstrate the attributes of an existential hero in varying degrees Juan Mirbal clearly is not an existential hero Juan is
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