Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People And Good Things To Bad People?

1534 words - 6 pages

The thoughts on the absurd and what it’s about had a lot to do with struggle of why things happen to people. Why do bad things happen to good people and good things to bad people? Because the world doesn’t have rules of fairness. It exists as it does, not as we want it to. This is seen in Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the underground:
During his last year at school, he’d come into an inheritance of some two hundred serfs, and, since almost the rest of us were poor, he’d begun to brag. He was an extremely uncouth fellow…he suddenly declared that not a single girl in his village would escape his attention—that it was his droit de seigneur, and if the peasants dared protest, he’d have them all flogged. (Dostoyevsky 669)
Dostoyevsky illustrates that good things happen to bad people in this section of his story. Zverkov is obviously not a good person; with his intentions to force himself on all of his female serfs when they get married. Considering this fact that he isn’t good should negate him from nature’s gifts, yet he is given two hundred serfs to lord over. The opposite of this is seen in The Metamorphosis with Gregor:
He understood that the sight of him was still unbearable to her and would continue to be unbearable to her, and that she probably had to control herself so as not to run away that the sight of that little portion of his body that peeped out from under the sofa. One day, in a bid to save her from that as well, he moved the tablecloth on to the sofa—the labour took him four hours—and arranged it in such a way that he was completely covered (Kafka 226)
Gregor takes care of his family and wants only the best for his sister. He was saving money from is small wages; depriving himself of the typical joys in life. So he could send her to the conservatory, to study music. Given all that he does for his family and how much he sacrifices, he should be rewarded by nature, yet he is not. This is one of the factors of the absurd, we can’t understand why things happen to people. It’s not about if they deserve it or not, it just happens. This philosophy developed during the industrialization of the world at the turn of the century. Many people saw things that to them didn’t make sense. Their higher power was supposed to take care of those that were good and punish the wicked. During this time that wasn’t happening; the people that were cunning and ruthless businessmen were rewarded and the rest became nothing more than servants. Many of these writers saw this and began to form a world view that resembled that and gave them a feeling of control over their lives in that world. The characters in their stories accept things that happen to them in a very detached manner. It leads to a question of what is real and what is not:
Father [hurt but answering gently.] you know very well, as a man of the theatre, that life is full of all sorts of odd things which have no need at all to pretend they are real because they are actually true…
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