What Are the Basic Themes of Sartre’s Existentialism?


Jane Flores

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. One of the most prominent existentialist thinkers is Jean-Paul Sartre, who explored the fundamental themes of existentialism through his writings.

Sartre’s existentialism is characterized by several key themes, including freedom, authenticity, anxiety, and responsibility.


Sartre believed that human beings are fundamentally free. We are not predetermined or predestined to be a certain way; rather, we have the power to choose our own path in life. This means that we are responsible for our own actions and decisions.


For Sartre, authenticity is about being true to oneself. It means being honest with oneself about one’s desires, values, and beliefs. Sartre believed that many people live inauthentic lives because they are afraid to confront their own freedom and responsibility.


Existential anxiety arises from the awareness of our freedom and responsibility. We are constantly faced with choices and decisions that can have significant consequences, which can be overwhelming. According to Sartre, anxiety is a natural part of the human condition.


As free beings, we are responsible for our own actions and decisions. This means that we cannot blame others for our choices or rely on external factors to determine our fate. Sartre believed that we must take full responsibility for ourselves in order to live authentically.

  • Overall,
  • Sartre’s existentialism emphasizes individual freedom,
  • authenticity,
  • anxiety,
  • and responsibility.

In this philosophy, individuals have the power to shape their own lives based on their choices and actions. However, this also means that they are responsible for the consequences of those choices. Sartre’s existentialism challenges individuals to confront their freedom and take responsibility for their lives, in order to live authentically.