"Existentialism is a philosophical approach that rejects the idea that the universe offers any clues about how humanity should live. A simplified understanding of this thought system can be found in Jean-Paul Sartre’s often-repeated dictum, 'Existence precedes essence.' What this means is that the identity of any one person—their essence—cannot be found by examining what other people are like, but only in what that particular person has done. Because no one can claim that his or her actions are 'caused' by anyone else, existentialism literature focuses on freedom and responsibility." ("Existentialism." David Galens, Ed. Literary Movements for Students. Vol 2. Detroit: Gale. 2002. 50.)
"1st December 1969: French writer and existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre pauses for thought during a speech in Paris on Vietnam War crimes. (Photo by Reg Lancaster/Express/Getty Images)" Image Date: 12/1/1969. Image Collection. EBSCO. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.
"French existentialist writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)" Image Date: 02/11/1947." Image Collection. EBSCO. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.