Theexample given in the excerpt is about a young man who found himselfin a situation where he had to choose from two modes of action. Hisdivorced mother was ailing and at the same time struggling toovercome the feeling of having lost a son in a German offensive. Theboy had two choices to select one. The first one was to stay with hismother, assist her, and offer her consolation following the loss ofthe other members of the family. Alternatively, he could join theFrench forces and fight against the Germans to avenge the death ofhis brother. Therefore, this essay will present an interpretation ofSartre phrase of the state of abandonment concerning the story of astudent in a dilemma.
Inthe analysis of the afore-stated conundrum, existentialism introducesthe notion of abandonment. Abandonment is basically, a term thatunderscores the inconsequential existence of God. This implies thathumans have no ability to attain the perfect consciousness to think.To illustrate this, existentialism labels the two choices in twoperspectives. His first choice of staying with the mother would beconcrete but directed towards satisfying a single individual’sneeds. The second choice of joining the military is perceived as ofmuch more infinite greatness and a bold act of patriotism.
Fromthe moral perspective, existentialism also views the options into twodistinct kinds of morality. There is the morality of sympathy that isconceived out of a personal devotion and the morality of the greaterscope, which is also marred by uncertainty. The different aspects ofthe two choices boil down to a matter of patriotism against familyattachments. In the example given, the notion of the state ofabandonment comes in at the point where Sartre concedes that the onlyperson who can make a decision for the troubled student is himself.For instance, Sartre states that if he had chosen a clergy, thestudent would have most likely predicted the advice beforehand. Thesame applies to his case. The state of abandonment recognizes thefreedom of choice by an individual. It also did recognize thisfreedom of choice as a derivative of feelings and the values thatexist on either side of the options. recognizes thathumans do not have the values or commands, which can justify ouractions and if they existed, then the absence of God would bewarranted. Externalism just recognizes His inconsequential existence.
Inconclusion, Sartre’s essay on ‘is a Humanism’is to some extent, a double entendre. It can be viewed partly in thecontext that God does not exist or be interpreted to mean that Heexists inconsequentially. His assertion is that the absence of valuesthat could legitimize our behaviors is a manifestation of hisexistence. In the story of the student at Crossroads, Sartrerecognizes that a suitable choice for the student would be hugelyhinged upon the values and feeling that he ties on either the brotheror the mother. At the same time, he reveals the ambiguity of gaugingout the strength of values or passions on either side. Therefore, thevictim can neither turn to God, the clergy nor any other person buthimself in a state of abandonment.
Jean-PaulSartre`s essay "Is a Humanism"written in 1946.