Essay on Kierkegaard
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Sample Essay on Soren Kierkegaard
The Seducer’s Diary was written by Soren Kierkegaard. It is a collection of a seducer’s thoughts that was used to seduce a young girl named Cordelia. The book was edited by Victor Eremita, who had found this collection of papers in a secret compartment of a writing desk (Updike, VI). Kierkegaard’s way of explaining his aesthetic sphere or is sphere of existence in his writings is used by his method of indirect communication. He writes his philosophy in this way because instead of giving the reader the straight to the point definition of his ways, he wants to let them read into the text more and make them think or ask themselves why he acts this way. He writes in a pseudonymous way in masking what in reality how the book depicts his own actual experiences with his love.
The diary is generally understood as being written in the present tense. This is significant to understand Johannes thoughts and the natures of aesthetics because it shows the reader or lets the reader think along what is at the moment going through Johannes mind. When Johannes writes in this present tense form, it gives us the insight on how his character lives or thinks aesthetically instead of just telling what actual events that had taken place. The nature of aesthetics is a life of interesting enjoyment. He writes this in a form of a diary to show the reader of his quest and accomplishment and for the reader to go back and recollect what he has done to seduce Cordelia.
Johannes is the main character in the book. He is the seducer who lives an aesthetic life. Johannes believes that his existence in life is to be filled with enjoyment. He is the kind of person who seeks in the interesting aspects of life, like erotic love, and tries to avoid boredom. He really doesn’t relate to people because he chooses to act in a manner that is not in the norm. He distances himself from others, especially even towards Cordelia. He doesn’t have any relation to God because he considers his choices to his own gratification instead to gratify what God wants. His motivation for acting like this was for his enjoyment in knowing he could take this young girl he seduces, helps her to act freely and devotedly towards him, and drops her when he accomplishes this. Because he believes that relationships should be brought to its highest points and to be disregarded right after.
Cordelia is the young girl who is being seduced by Johannes. Her relationship with Johannes is one of treachery and of the imagination. Cordelia is a young girl, who acts as innocent as young girls come, and by her being this way, gives Johannes the incentive to pursue her even more. She is easily fooled by Johannes influences and is later disregarded once she shows Johannes what he has been striving for.
To be aesthetic is one who lives a life of things that are only interesting. Being aesthetic is to avoid boredom and to do things that are fun. Those who are aesthetic look for ways that bring enjoyment, and once it is gone, they must look for other ways.
For example, Johannes’ curiosity in getting to know Cordelia shows his obsessive ways of capturing something as innocent as she is, and changing it seems exciting and captivating. With great secrecy, he comes to know her likes and dislikes, her family history, her daily activities, her talents, her weaknesses, and even her wardrobe. He shows his obsessive ways by observing her especially when he depicts her as getting out of a carriage. He tells from her stepping out of a carriage, that she is as innocent and needy as they come (Updike 19). His secrecy gives him a feeling of excitement that he knows he could change Cordelia to the ideal person he wants.
Being aesthetic also shows a person being an egoist. Johannes sole purpose of this challenge is for his own gratification despite the way he rejects Cordelia in the end. He shows that by influencing Cordelia to date Edward. He knows he is much better than Edward and he uses Edward to show Cordelia that he is the guy that best suits her. He is so sure of himself that by letting Cordelia date Edward that Cordelia would chose him (Updike 85).
Aesthetic people despise boredom. Johannes fears boredom when he stops all together pursuing Cordelia and trying to influence her that he is no good for her anymore. And eventually Cordelia breaks off the engagement. He feels that marriage is a downhill slope. Pursuing Cordelia was fun and exciting. But once he sees that he has won what he was striving for he rejects Cordelia.
The aesthetic sphere of existence is a life of fantasy and experiencing the interesting. They avoid boredom and are really egoist in a way in order to decide what choices they have to make. The diary’s end shows that aestheticism keeps going and looking for more enjoyment or gratification. Kierkegaard’s seducer’s diary depicts his view and his understanding of his existence.
The belief of ethical existence is one to lead a life of responsibility. Such responsibilities that follow or abide by moral obligations such as marriage, legal requirements of society, or even the commandments set by God. This differs from aesthetic existence because it goes by what is morally righteous and good. Aesthetics takes place in a life of self gratification and enjoyment. They have no obligations to anything but to themselves and what benefits them.
For example in the readings from the “or”, to know once existence is to despair. Whoever does not feel disparity, does not know the significance of life says Judge William, however beautiful and joyous one’s life may be. To despair is to have the realization of what life is and not what it is imagined to be. By despairing, he would identify that he is his own editor, but also realize that he has responsibilities for himself, that what he chooses has an influence on him and others, and of course is responsible in the eyes of God (Williams 264).
The sphere of religious existence is of absurdity. This belief questions what actions we do in reality in regards to religious text. For example, fear and trembling is the only best way of realizing that we exist. Something else is responsible for our existence. That to fear and tremble God gives the realization of existence. This differs from aesthetic and ethical spheres of existence because both use the explanation of existence through personal choices and obligations; where in the religious sphere existence exists because of something else.
In the book fear and trembling, Kierkegaard depicts the story of Abraham and Isaac. He shows that the religious existence is absurd. That because of Abraham’s faith to follow what god commanded, in fear of him, is that something higher than oneself does exist, and for that reason fearing God gives us reason that we exist.
The three spheres’ of existence explained by Kierkegaard is the aesthetic, ethical, and religious spheres. The sphere that I ought to live is the sphere of religious existence. That I know I exist because I fear and tremble in the faith that something else higher than me exist. That the choices I make are influenced by something higher than me, and that influence is God.