A Nugatory Struggle for Being: An Exploration of Existentialistic Rudiments in Soul Mountain (Ling Shan)


  • Nur Ul Ain Lecturer (Visiting), Department of English, University of Jhang, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Mughees Khan Lecturer, Department of English, Govt. Graduate College Adhiwal, Jhang, Punjab, Pakistan




Absurdity, Existentialism, Freedom, Meaninglessness, Struggle


The study investigates nugatory struggle of the individuals in the fiction Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian. The novel is an elaboration of what the real life has to offer in this world. A man is the being with the ability to make a choice and he freely decides about his life. The irony of this freedom is that no other one can be blamed for the actions, committed by an individual. The burden of being free and responsible for the decisions leads towards the condition, we call existential crises. Existentialistic philosophers sum this up as; the man is condemned to be free. With the declaration of his freedom, the protagonist rejects the patterned and the governed systems by the different institutions either the sociocultural or the political one and he lives the life according to his own drawn structure. In his entire life, the protagonist struggles to attain a significant meaning of life. This dissertation explores the existential angst, estrangement and strife in Soul Mountain that leads the narrator to an absurdist realm, meaninglessness and chaos. The inability to comprehend life and its meaning both produce anxiety and the craving for the meaning remains a thirst. The research tracks down the struggling phenomenon of the protagonist in the fiction Soul Mountain in the light of existentialistic interpretation of the term.





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How to Cite

Ain, N. U., & Khan, M. (2023). A Nugatory Struggle for Being: An Exploration of Existentialistic Rudiments in Soul Mountain (Ling Shan). Pakistan Languages and Humanities Review, 7(2), 337–345. https://doi.org/10.47205/plhr.2023(7-II)29