Jim Morrison is the lead singer of the classic rock and roll band “The Doors”. JimMorrison not only was the lead vocalist in the famous sixties band, he was also the writer of mostbut not all of The Doors songs and the author of many poems. Susan Sontag is anaccomplished author. Some of Susan Sontag’s works include essays, reviews, editing, novelsand short stories. Although at first Jim Morrison and Susan Sontag appear to have nothing orvery little in common, both because of Jim Morrison’s main influence coming from authorFriedrich Nietzsche, who believed in existentialism (a body of ethical thought centering about theuniqueness and isolation of individual experiences in a universe indifferent or even hostile toman, regarding human existence as unexplainable, and emphasizing man’s freedom of choiceand responsibility for the consequences of his acts), and Susan Sontag’s writings following astyle of existentialism, both Jim Morrison and Susan Sontag’s works focus constantly on relatingthe message of placing blame on oneself in order to obtain a more perfect soul.
Born James Douglas Morrison on December 8 1843 in Melbourne Florida to parentsSteve and Clara Morrison(Hopkins, Sugerman 5).
A few months after the birth of Jim Morrison,Jim’s father Steve and his mine layer were sent off to fight in World War Two. For the next threeyears Jim’s mother Clara, was forced to raise Jim with only the help of sympathizing relativeswho believed in ideas such as “Children should be seen and not heard … Ignore somethingunpleasant and it will go away… “(Hopkins, Sugerman 5).
Jim Morrison was one of the first musical artists in American history to use rhetoric to induce social action. Having scored in the genius range on his IQ tests, Jim studied many different ways to manipulate the general population. He was intrigued about learning how to start riots and indulged heavily in the readings of Fredrick Nietzsche and Allen Ginsberg. Jim Morrison also was a spectacular ...
This constant barrage of negativitymay have been one of the first factors leading to Jim’s beliefs in existentialism. The way inwhich the negativity lead to Jim’s belief is that through the constant attack, Jim began to feel asif he were responsible for all of the mishaps occurring in the family. This feelings that Jim had,showed his first signs of becoming an existentialist, because feelings of responsibility are one ofthe common characteristics of many existentialist authors, musicians and artists.
A second event in Jim Morrison’s life, that may have been a reason for Jim becoming aexistentialist occurred while Steve Morrison, Jim’s father, was driving through New Mexico when”They [The Morrison Family] came upon an overturned truck, and saw injured and dying PuebloIndians lying where they had been thrown on the asphalt” (Hopkins, Sugerman 6).
After seeingthe Indians, Jim felt an urge to have Steve Morrison pull over and attempt to help the dyingIndians but, Steve did not share the same feelings with Jim and continued to drive by saying “Itwas a dream Jimmy, it didn’t really happen, it was a dream”(Hopkins, Sugerman 6).
This scenewas considered to be one of the most influential in Jim Morrison’s life as the story of the PuebloIndians is constantly referred to in many of the songs written by Jim. One of the songs, whereJim uses the Indian reference, is Dawn’s Highway where Jim says “Indians scattered on dawn’shighway bleeding / Ghosts crowd the young child’s fragile eggshell mind./ Indian, Indian what didyou die for?/ Indian says, nothing at all.” (Morrison 4).
The dying Pueblo Indians helped tocreate the existential side of Jim Morrison because in his mind he felt as if he were responsiblefor the deaths of the Indians, once again placing blame on himself, a key role in existentialism.
Although events played a large role in Jim’s journey towards existentialism, authorFriedrich Nietzsche who is often considered to be one of the few forefathers of existentialismplayed an equally if not more important role in the journey. Nietzsche played a large role in Jimbecoming an existentialist because “Dennis and Jim would sit discussing Nietzsche for hours,arguing occasionally but generally agreeing ardently, reading long passages from thephilosopher’s works aloud to each other” (Hopkins, Sugerman 45).
Directions: Complete the “Atheistic Existentialism” column in the table below by filling in the cells from information provided in the textbook. Atheistic Existentialism / REALITY The only reality for an AE is the one they create for themselves…everything is matter – everything is connected as some form of matter or energy and in a cause and effect relationship Atheistic Existentialism / KNOWLEDGE ...
Through these readings Jimlearned about Nietzsche philosophies including the ideal of The Superman and how to becomean existentialist.
By the time Jim Morrison turned 23 he had become an existentialist and it was becauseof his psychological views of the world that inspired Jim’s lyrics in his poems and music. Thefirst of example of Jim involving existentialism in his lyrics comes from the song “An AmericanPrayer” where Jim says “Grant us one more hour to/ perform our art/ and perfect our lives”.When Jim mentions the previous lines, he is making a reference to asking God for “one morehour” and in this hour Jim plans to “perfect our lives”, in these lines it can be assumed that Jimhas realized he is not flawless, which is admitting guilt, and that the only way to perfect his soulis by admitting his sins, or placing blame on himself. Another song where existentialism shinesin Jim’s works is in the poem “Dawn’s Highway”. In “Dawn’s Highway” Jim rants “Indian, Indianwhat did you die for?/ Indian says, nothing at all.” These lyrics refer back to one of JimMorrison’s earlier life experienced where Jim sees the overturned truck of Pueblo Indians. Asstated earlier it was known that Jim felt as if it was his fault for the death of the Indians becausehis father refused to pull over and let Jim out in order to help the Indians. The thoughts that Jimexperienced as a result of the accidents are a good representation of existentialism becauseonce again Jim is placing guilt on himself.
Jim’s existential words are shown once again in the song “The Hitchhiker”. The song”The Hitchhiker” is a song about a man, assumed to be Jim, who has just killed a man and istelling his story to a stranger “Hey, listen, man, I really got a problem/ I don’t know how to tellyou,/ but, ah, I killed somebody.” Jim later goes on to say how he is not fearful of being caught”It’s no big deal, ya know,/ I don’t think anybody will find out about it.”. Although Jim seams to beconfident about getting away with his crime, he still feels a need to blame himself. As a result ofthis confession Jim has expressed his existential side because of his realization of guilt and hisneed for blaming himself so he can achieve a more perfect soul.
including that of sexuality. Morrison effectively demonstrates these sexual themes relating to both sexes. Unlike in her other novels, both the men and women are "searching for love, for valid sexual encounters, and above all, for a sense that they are worthy."(Bakerman 318) While Song of Solomon gives men a more prominent place, Morrison also shows the desires of women to break away from ...
Just as Jim Morrison was an existentialist writer, so was Susan Sontag. Susan Sontagwas born on January 16 1933 in New York City, Susan Sontag was the oldest daughter in herPolish Jewish family. Susan Sontag was an author of many novels, short-stories and screenplays(American Writers 451).
Susan was, like Jim Morrison, raised by his aunts, uncles andother relatives. The reason for why Susan was raised by her relatives is because when she wasyoung her father was on constant trips to the orient and her mother would go along with herfather on the trips. When Susan was only six years old, her father died on one of his fur tradingtrips in the China. As a result of the death of her father and the absence of her mother Susanwas often considered to be “a psychologically abandoned child” (Sontag).
As Susan Sontag’s lifecontinued she became more isolated than when she was a kid and often found her only escapefrom society in books. As a result of her isolation and absence of parents Susan started herjourney towards becoming an existentialist style author.
Sontag’s existential style is often present in much of her work, one such example comefrom an essay she wrote in 1966 “The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the whiterace and it alone — its ideologies and inventions — which eradicates autonomous civilizationswherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatensthe very existence of life itself” (What’s Happening In America, Sontag).
The quote from “What’sHappening In America” shows how Susan is taking the view of existentialism to an extreme bynot only blaming herself, but by blaming her entire race for the threaten of life.
Sontag once again displays her existential style when she writes “The human mindpossesses now, almost a second nature, a perspective on its own achievements that fatallyundermines their value and their claim to truth” (Thinking Against Oneself: Reflections onCioran, Sontag).
jon censored in doe English 111-A March 13, 2001 The 1960's were turbulent years in America, and Jim Morrison created an image of himself that stretched the boundaries of popular culture and entertainment. He was the first musician to truly live the creed of the moment, " sex drugs and rock and roll." Morrison's complicated lyrics, wild behavior, and personal charisma attracted many fans that ...
In this second quote Sontag displays her feelings about the need for placingblame on yourself in order to improve on your soul. The title of the work “Thinking AgainstOneself: Reflections on Cioran” also reflects her views by stating the need to place blame ononeself.
Susan Sontag and Jim Morrison both show a similar pattern in there writing, both of theauthors constantly write about the need for self blame in order to ascertain a better soul.Although both Sontag and Morrison tell the same idea there ways of presenting the ideas aredifferent. Jim Morrison would often blame just himself and then make an attempt to resolve hismistakes, while Susan Sontag would blame entire groups which she was involved in such as thewhite race but, she unlike Jim often did not write about her ways to resolve the issues. Susanand Jim share one other similarity, both were raised by relatives and not by there parents. As aresult of the self reliance both learned to believe that they were responsible for most eventsaround them. Therefor because of the similar lifestyles and raising Jim Morrison and SusanSontag can both be considered alike through existentialism.