Existentialism in Groundhog Day

All throughout Camus’ book, The Stranger, the main character Meursault has an outlook on life that stuns everyone he comes across, whether it be his girlfriend Marie or his lawyer when he is in prison. Despite how society views Meursault as a person, he refuses to change any of his beliefs, even when it ultimately leads to his death.

After reading the stranger, I began thinking of whether I have seen any examples of this kind of existentialism in other works. I was reminded of the movie Groundhog Day, where the main character, Phil Connors, is forced to repeat the same day over in a town that he mocks for celebrating Groundhog Day. Eventually after a while, Phil views time as a pointless construct that is just a repeated thing, day, and idea.

Further into the movie, Phil goes on to develop an existentialist point of view that is very similar to Meursault’s. He feels as if life itself is just repetitive, so as an individual he can do what he thinks. By the end of this movie though, Phil escapes the loop and finds love in a woman named Rita. This shift in the movie is what specifically contrasts with Meursault’s views on love and life. In The Stranger, Meursault simply just does not believe in loving Marie because it did not mean anything.

Although Phil Connors and Meursault have similar views at one point, they both end their stories going in two different directions, one being finding love through others and the other being that things like love and death are essentially meaningless.

One thought on “Existentialism in Groundhog Day

  1. JOHN WEIBLE

    This is what I think of life in a way. It has no real intrensic meaning to it, so we find are own meaning to it. The things we find may just be the things everyone overlooks. I am reminded of a poem from Walt Whitman called O me! Oh life! we don’t just lie around and be misarable, we find meaning.

    Like

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