Title page for ETD etd-05092010-133949

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Artrip, Ryan Edward
URN etd-05092010-133949
Title The Absurd and Film: From the Existential Moment to Metaphysical Revolt
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Luke, Timothy W. Committee Chair
Daskal, Steven J. Committee Member
Nelson, Scott G. Committee Member
  • Liberalism
  • Absurd
  • Camus
  • Consumerism
  • Existentialism
  • Political Theory
  • Film
Date of Defense 2010-04-30
Availability unrestricted
In recent cinematic history, films have often expressed through the experiences of characters an ‘existential moment’ in which fundamental assumptions about life are questioned and potentially rendered meaningless. The purpose of this project is to follow two accounts of this expressed moment in the 1999 films American Beauty and Fight Club, understanding them as such through particular readings of the philosophical articulations of Albert Camus. I analyze the social climates of liberalism and consumerism that might account for these expressions of discontent and anxiety at the same time I evaluate the validity of existential thought in the contemporary social world. Ultimately, I question what kinds of political qualms absurdity might render, using film experience as a venue to understand and evaluate these questions.
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