What Is The Meaning Of Free Will In Life

1974 words - 8 pages

Free will is the idea in which individuals can have the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate, and this idea of free will served as a prevalent theme in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut illustrates the absurdity of no free will in Pilgrim’s world through the book’s nonlinear structure and unorganized plot. The novel is constructed as a series of inconsistent flashbacks and future incidents through the eyes of the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim. Billy Pilgrim is able to time-travel to the past and future, but without any control over his peculiar ability. He can constantly travels through any moment in time without controlling it. Instead of free will existing, ...view middle of the document...

Vonnegut states, “Billy has gone to sleep a senile widower and awakened on his wedding day. He has walked through a door in 1955, and come out another one in 1941. He has gone back through that door to find himself in 1963. He has seen his birth and death many times, he says, and pays random visits to all the events in between” (23). Pilgrim is able to visit and revisit different periods of time constantly without any influence or choice of his doing in the matter. Because Pilgrim is able to see into the past and future, he cultivates unsympathetic feelings and is indifferent, which shows that Pilgrim loses a sense of value of himself. He lacks passion in his life as he does not truly appreciate everything and everyone he has. Having no free will would persuade individuals to hold no motivation or determination in their lives because it would not matter in a fate-controlled world.
Moreover, predestination and fate would take the place of free will if it did not exist in the world. Believing that one’s life is already decided for and planned entirely would defeat the purpose of life as people would not be able to experience life due to the choices they make and want. Knowing that an individual is destined to follow a particular path in life without any chance to avoid or change it will change the person’s outlook on life. In the novel, Pilgrim married Valencia Merble even though he didn’t love her and thought she was “as big as a house because she couldn’t stop eating” (107). Due to his uncanny ability of time-travel, Pilgrim “had already seen a lot of their marriage, thanks to time-travel, [and] knew that it was going to be at least bearable all the way” (120). Pilgrim marries Valencia Merble and accepts her as his wife as she was destined to be with him. He fools himself into thinking he is satisfied in the marriage since he can time travel and see future events. Because there is no free will in Pilgrim’s world, Pilgrim must accept everything in his life and learn to be content with how it plays out. For instance, Pilgrim married into a rich family and gained a successful career in optometry due to his father-in-law, even though Pilgrim never mentioned any great interest in this study. Pilgrim was content and comfortable with this part of his life since he has a wife who adores him and a stable salary. Pilgrim does not love Valencia or optometry, yet he still accepts them into his life. Pilgrim acknowledges the fact that he has no control or any sort of free will in his life, even though he can see into the past and future.
On the other hand, the idea of free will gives people a reason to be happy and to live their lives meaningfully. Having free will means that individuals can choose their own paths in their lives and determine their future without the notion of predestination and fate bringing them down. The belief in free will also can be beneficial and healthy as individuals develop the strong illusion that they are free and are not...

Other Essays Like What Is The Meaning Of Free Will In Life

What Is the Christian Life Essay

2480 words - 10 pages can choose to run, meaning run our best, and strive for the prize by focusing on the finish, which is what God has asked of us. That’s exactly what the Apostle Paul wanted us to do in this passage of Scripture. If we are going to run the race and win the race, we are going to have to focus on the finish. The Christian Life is starts by knowing Jesus Christ as our one and only Savior which is which delivers what we are saved from. After making

Explain What The Concept Of The 'Will' Is To Arthur Schopenhauer

971 words - 4 pages God. The world as described by Schopenhauer, "is an endless striving and blind impulse with no end in view, devoid of knowledge, lawless, absolutely free, self-determining and almighty," (Stanford.edu, 2011). Given his assurance, there can be no God who can exist and there is no divine plan, no purpose of life, no meaning behind natural events. There is only the Will in the world, which begets the viewpoint of the world as cruel, with people's

The Meaning Of Life : A Look Through The Matrix

1717 words - 7 pages . Although it would be unclear as to who was correct in the color categorization, the basic conforming characteristics of humans would enlarge your doubts over what you perceived. Philosopher Immanuel Kant explains this theory well; he states that humans can only know phenomenon (or experience), but never reality. From that, we can only infer what the world is like from our "experiences," but we will never really know what the world is like. Because of

The Meaning Of Life According To Victor E. Frankl

1458 words - 6 pages The Meaning of Life According to Victor E. Frankl The meaning of life, defined by Victor E. Frankl, is the will to find your meaning in life. It is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment. He believes that if you are approached with the question of “what is the meaning of my life” or in this case, “life is meaningless,” then you should reverse the question to that person

Time and Meaning of Life

517 words - 3 pages if you have been given a task and God wants to see how well u do it Do you do it to the best of you’re ability, do you turn away and say SCREW IT or the worst, you say you want to do it but it can wait till tomorrow. What you don’t understand is that there is very little time. So u must utilize every second of the life you have because one day you’ll lose it and then it will be too late. Everyone is destined to do great things in their

The Futility of Meaning in Midnight's Children

3484 words - 14 pages in a central role? Today, in my confusion, I can’t judge. I’ll have to leave it to others." Pg. 198 In this quote, Saleem is basically asking his audience to judge his story, and if it failed. This goes all the way back to the story of Scheherazade, as her life was not given meaning by what she thought of her own stories, but only by what the King did. In this sense, Saleem’s life will not have meaning if the audience does not see that he has

St Augustine's Problem of Evil + Free Will

3381 words - 14 pages granted to each and every man. “The fact that man cannot lead an upright life without it is sufficient reason why God should have given it [free will.]” To my understanding, throughout Augustine’s confession, the necessity of free will becomes very evident. The choices that Augustine makes through his adolescence up to his conversion truly makes Augustine find the righteous path to infinite happiness, in other words, God. If God had not granted

The Truth Will Set You Free

659 words - 3 pages The Truth Will Set You Free The subject of God has been controversial for years—especially in today’s time. Having faith in The Lord can give you many great feelings though; feelings of relief or a feeling like weight has been lifted off your shoulders. While not having this faith in Him can give a feeling not so great, a feeling of never being satisfied, always questioning life. Every person has a soul that will live with forever; it is

What Is Life?

1167 words - 5 pages News Science Genetics Notes & Theories science blog Next Previous Blog home What is life? The physicist who sparked a revolution in biology Erwin Schrödinger introduced some of the most important concepts in biology, including the idea of a 'code' of life Share 642 inShare9 Email Redeye tree frog Insights from biology and computing built upon Schrödinger's genius, changing our view of life

What Is Life ?

1219 words - 5 pages What Is Life? is a 1944 non-fiction science book written for the lay reader by physicist Erwin Schrödinger. The book was based on a course of public lectures delivered by Schrödinger in February 1943, under the auspices of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. The lectures attracted an audience of about 400, who were warned "that the subject-matter was a difficult one and that the lectures could not be termed

The Meaning of Sjsu

1701 words - 7 pages pleasure in the beauty of the campus. San Jose State University may not be your dream school but for me I’m proud to be a Spartan. San Jose is an amazing school, and is a good choice academically and provides a great college experience. The friendships and the experience at San Jose State University will always be unique in my life no matter what other path I choose after I leave SJSU. Being at SJSU made me a cultured individual; and you cannot just

Related Papers

What Is The Meaning Of Success In Today’s Culture

573 words - 3 pages some others deem that happiness is the biggest success, and a number of people hold the view that becomming remarkable man is successful. In today’s culture, the meaning of success is never giving up. That requires people to have a strong will to do the things they chose,and try very hard to practice what they work in. The most important premise of never giving up is to be strong in heart and mind. Once people choose one thing to do, they

The Meaning Of Life Essay

646 words - 3 pages The Meaning of Life Though I’m young, inexperienced in many areas, and have not yet lived life to the fullest, I have found the three omni-present passions I know I will always live for: the yearning for valuable relationships, an undeniable connection with music and the lifelong search for God. Without my knowing, these three passions have effortlessly paved my path in life and guided my feet to walk, run, and skip along it. First, I

The Meaning Of Life Essay

1508 words - 7 pages with several fish in a restaurant aquarium, performed by the Pythons. They look on and see one of their number, Howard, being eaten by a customer, and then start to ask themselves about the meaning of life. The film proper consists of a series of distinct sketches, broken into seven chapters. Part I – The Miracle of Birth • A woman in labour is taken into a hospital delivery room, where she is largely ignored by doctors (Cleese and Chapman

Meaning Of Life In The Bridge Of San Luis Rey

544 words - 3 pages opportunity they have to show how much they love the persons, who they lost. Nevertheless, they realize it when it was too late. On the other hand, the Abbess is the one, who really understands it and let the other two know, telling them this powerful passage. From the passage it can be understood that there is no individual meaning but the meaning, which others give us when we have a close bond with them. So, you have to take advantage of your life and tell the people how much you love them any time you can, otherwise you will complain about the things you didn’t do while you were alive.