Disclaimer: This is one of my first essays i ever wrote for CEGEP and one that I am quite proud of. It was for my class on “EXISTENTIALISM – KNOWLEDGE BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL “. It is about the freedom of choice and how it affects our entire lives.
Everyone has the ability to make decisions for themselves. That Is one of the great things about humanity we are able to step back and think about all the things we are able to do ;But not without consequence. With freedom comes error. We are not always so capable of making “the right choice”. For example when we discussed in class about Adam and Eve, it was her choice to eat the apple, no one else’s. And for that they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for disobeying God. For example of “Before the Law” the man had the freedom to choose whether or not he could walk through the gate , but he sat outside the doors until her died because someone else told him “no”. You have the freedom to do as you will but does that mean you will take your chance and do it?
We have the ability to choose what we want to do. We are able to navigate through dozens of thoughts to make decisions, as Jean-Paul Sartre would put it “existence proceeds essence” (Existentialism). The universe does not have an inherent meaning, only the one we choose to give it. we are forced into freedom . One could say that our freedom is a gift we have to choice to mold our lives into anything we want. We give our lives the meaning we want them to have. We have the freedom to make our lives into ones we want to live and we choose our own meanings. As hard as it can be you are the only person who can give meaning to your world, you chose to live a certain way because it best fits you. Our lives come first to everything else in the universe, for every person is the center of their own world. It is hard to imagine every person trying to live the way one person or deity wants us to live.
“… He decides to wait that is it better to wait until he gets permission to enter.” (Before the Law)
Here it says that he decides to wait out in front of the gates and not disobey the guard. His freedom and his will is in his hands he could leave and never return. But he stays and waits and does not take a chance during the time he stayed there. One may have freedom but choose and not choose to use it and only to obey someone else’s rules.one has the freedom to listen to the rules to someone else. So the many from the country uses his freedom to sit and wait until the guard lets him in.In the end the guard shuts the door on him. The man has wasted his freedom buy sitting outside the door the rest of his life. Yet at the same time he used his freedom to wait , everything he did he did out of his own free will.
If we compare “Before the law” to “Existentialism” we are able to tell that both of these texts are about freedom and choice. Before the law is about using your freedom to listen to others and do as they say. The man could have easily gone through to get to the law. But he chose not to only because the guard at the gate told him not to enter. We don’t know if the guard would have stopped him if he had tried to enter. He also tells the man that the other guards are worse than he is. We also don’t know if the guard knows what if behind the gate, he could have been told to tell anyone who tries to enter that they cannot. He too has given up his freedom to guard the gate. Unless that was not his purpose, it could be possible that the guard was meant to do something else and gave his own life a different meaning. As said in Existentialism “existence proceeds essence” the guard too could be an example of this. He could have given up his “meaning” if you will to go guard the law. Or he could have been born into it could be his purpose in life. But either way you look at it both of the men chose to stand outside that gate and wait until the other one died or left.
People get to make decisions for themselves, we can choose to wait outside a gate for something we might want an awful lot, give away all of our earthly possessions for a chance to enter the law.one has the choice to give their life the meaning that they want. They have the choice to make their lives into one that they want. They give their universe its own meaning.