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An Existentialist View of The Sweet Hereafter Jean-Paul Sartres concepts have always fascinated critical thinkers and creative artists alike In this paper I am going to evaluate his many topics and schools of thought as explained in the book Ten Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson I intend to specifically explore the concepts of good and bad faith using examples from Atom Egoyans film The Sweet Hereafter I shall draw existential parallels between Sartres concepts and Egoyans in order to point out certain motivations that are found within the characters of Egoyans film I will especially focus on the films main characters and how the concept of community versus outsiders affects them Jean-Paul Sartre defines the universe as being absurd and without God He denies the existence of God merely because he feels that the responsibility of a mans life belongs in the hands of himself and nothing else Sartre believes that if man believed in the existence of God he would not try to make his life meaningful knowing that he had God as a safety net Therefore once man denies the existence of God and realizes that he has to depend on himself and only himself for his survival he will be forced to take his existence into his own hands and make it meaningful In Atom Egoyans film The Sweet Hereafter the small town community of Sam Dent is faced with an existential crisis After a school bus accident kills nearly all of the towns children a lawyer is called in to represent certain families who wish to receive monetary compensation for the loss of their children This creates tension between the families that wish to seek legal mediation and those who wish to solve the problem within the community with no outsiders like always The lawyer Mitchell Stevens is this outsider that plagues many characters in the film Before the bus accident the members of the town of Sam Dent
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