The Analysis of the passage from Sartre’s Nausea Essay

May 3, 2021 by Essay Writer

Jean-Paul Sartre’s novel Nausea throws light on the philosophy of existentialism. The main character struggles to acknowledge the indifference of the physical world while searching for the meaning in his life. This paper is aimed at analyzing a quote from this literary work. In particular, it is necessary to show how this quote is related to the main ideas of Sartre.

Overall, one can argue that this passage explores the feelings of a person who struggles to find the purpose or rationale in his own life. Moreover, the so-called nausea can be described as the state when an individual understands the senselessness of the material world. These are the main issues that should be discussed in this essay.

One should note that Antoine Roquentin, who is the main character, is obsessed with the search of the meaning that the surrounding world should have. In turn the selected quote describes the experiences of an individual who cannot accept the chaotic nature of the material world. Moreover, he cannot understand why and how the world was created.

The following sentence illustrates the feelings of this person, “I slumped on the bench, dazed, stunned by that profusion of beings without origin” (Sartre 1965, p. 190). Much attention should be paid to the Sartre’s ideas of nausea. This is a state when a person is acutely aware of the existence, but at the same time, the protagonist cannot see the forces that lead to this existence. This is the main question that puzzles this main character.

Additionally, the main character is overwhelmed by the alleged senselessness of the physical world, especially its dynamic nature. This is why he utters the following phrase, ‘All of sudden they existed and then, all of sudden, they no longer existed’ (Sartre 1965, p. 190). On the whole, Antoine Roquentin cannot see the logic of this process (Sartre 1965, p. 190).

This issue is of great importance for the protagonist, because this person understands that sooner or later he will also disappear just as the material objects that he observes on a daily basis. This thought causes the nausea that Antoine Roquentin wants to overcome.

It should be taken into account that Sartre’s philosophy is aimed at showing that people should recognize the idea of their freedom; otherwise, the quality of their lives will be impaired. Moreover, they should not assume that they were created for some predetermined purpose.

This is one of the reasons why Antoine Roquentin is so repulsed by the existence. The selected passage throws light on the attitude of the protagonist who cannot accept the idea that he is free and that his life does not have to follow a certain logic that could be imposed from outside. This is why he experiences emotional crisis.

Overall, this quote is important for understanding the so-called nausea of the main character and existence. The passage shows that in many cases people strive to discover a pattern in the material world, and the absence of this patter bewilders and sometimes depresses them.

This is one of the main issues that Sartre examines in his work. This quote that has been analyzed is vital for discussing some underlying principles of existentialism since it describes the questions or issues that every person strives to understand in effort to find the purpose in his/her lives.


Sartre, J 1965, Nausea, Penguin Modern Classics, London.

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