Type: Analysis
Pages: 3 | Words: 736
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Tolstoy gives an account of his own life as he went from a comfortable normal life to a meaningless one with no purpose. He argues that while someone is alive, she/he must find a purpose that motivates him or her to continue existing. This purpose to living is beyond the rational knowledge of man. Every human being should have some faith in order to live. The existence of religion also provides some background beliefs that every human being has his/her unique importance in this world. Having faith in something also motivates our daily activities, as we hope to achieve unforeseen goals in the future.

Tolstoy used to live a complete life where he enjoyed the comfort of owning a vast estate that appreciated every passing day; as well as the love of his wife and children, who formed a wonderful family that every man could desire. He also rode on a good reputation that he had earned himself from the way he behaved and the good work he did. Despite all these simple human joys and a good health, Tolstoy lost meaning and excitement to life.

According to Tolstoy, the prospect that he will finally die, however, conceals purpose and meaning to his life. Death is the only predicament awaiting everyone who is alive. Nevertheless, soon he loses the point to life; it happens that Tolstoy fails to understand the fact why people have to live a good life when in the end they die leaving everything behind. From Tolstoy’s point of view, it was senseless and needless to live when there is no reason to it. Everything, that a person does, must be on the premises of purpose and reason. Tolstoy can only see his life as somebody’s experiment for his or her own amusement. He sees life as one that must be endured, since individuals have no choice out of it. This is especially brought out when he compares himself with the traveler. The reasons that people give as motivators for living are just there to deviate them from the reality and death. He cannot see why he must continue living when there is nothing that will come out of it in the end. The other people around him, including his family, should not live without a reason or purpose for it too.

He resolved in finding the meaning for living when he had realized that he is alone in his theory and failing to identify purpose for life. The rest of the people seemed to have a convincing sense why they endured their lives. In his attempts to unravel this issue, he tried to find answers using his rational knowledge, but it was a failure as well. Rational knowledge gives a conclusion that life is an evil, and therefore, no meaning should be attached to it. In as much as death marks the end of life, a person should not take his/her life just because she or he loses the purpose for living. There is a lot to live for, if only one believes so.

Finally, he concludes that the purpose or meaning to living is based on faith as presented by the irrational knowledge. Faith is the belief that a person has on something to be true; even though, one cannot see it. I think that this is the right conclusion, since a lot of other authors and philosophers share the same view. For instance, the work of Descartes is based on doing something where one actually can see reason. Solomon and Schopenhauer also identify faith as some kind of reason why people hold onto their lives. I also believe that it is beyond a person to think and come up with a purpose as to why he or she exists, since there are no such answers in rational knowledge; a person can only create his or her purpose for living through faith. Furthermore, the religious holy books such as the Quran and the Bible teach us that there is meaning and purpose in life by explaining why human beings exist. Like in the holy Christian book which is the Bible, in the book of Genesis, God created human beings and marking the start to the meaning of life in Adam and Eve. The same book also provides the hope for all human beings that they exist for a given purpose. Lastly, faith provides a fundamental future for those who believe that something unique will happen.

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