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Word Count: 342
Commitment to Free Will Rhinoceros by Eug Ionesco starts in a small town where Jean a witty young man meets his apathetic and existentialist friend Berenger for a drink During their conversation a rhinoceros runs through the square of the town frightening everybody with the exception of Berenger As more and more rhinoceroses appear in the town Berenger remains the only one unmoved by them Over time it becomes apparent that it is people who are morphing into rhinoceroses Berenger is indecisive as to whether or not he would prefer to become a follower of the status quo of being a rhinoceros or to remain an existentialist In the last line of the play however he takes a large responsibility in deciding to save the human race from the tyranny of the rhinoceroses The transformation of Berenger from a seemingly purposeless alcoholic into the savior of humanity reflects his struggle to remain an existentialist despite the status quo Berenger does not have great will-power as demonstrated by his frequent relapses to alcohol and dreaming However he feels responsible for the various metamorphoses of people around him starting after Act One Berenger feels that when youre involved yourself when you suddenly find yourself up against the brutal facts you cant help feeling directly concerned This realization enables Berenger to metamorphose into a person who is responsible concerned for others and committed to free will 78-79 While the other characters physically turn into rhinoceroses exposing the negative natures they had formerly concealed Berengers change is moral and completely opposite from his position at the start of the play He begins as a lifeless alienated person who drinks too much and finds life worthless except for his attraction to a co-worker He is bored by his work and wonders if life is a dream that is controlled by unconscious desires Despite his escapism through alcohol Berenger remains an existentialist to the end His initially bleak outlook
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