Meaning of Life in World Literature

Faith Provides Life’s Meaning by Leo Tolstoy

From the point of view of Tolstoy, the drama of human existence consists of the contradiction between the inevitability of death and the thirst for immortality inherent in man. Tolstoy believes that a person’s life is filled with meaning to the extent that he subordinates it to the fulfillment of the will of God. At the same time, the will of God is given to us as the law of love, as opposed to the law of violence. The law of love is most fully and accurately developed in the commandments of Christ. In order to save themselves, and their soul, to give meaning to life, a person must stop doing evil, and committing violence, first of all, when they become the object of evil and violence (Martela, 2020). I agree with Leo Tolstoy that, in part, the meaning of life is to stick to moral principles that do not harm others, no matter how evil the world might sometimes be.

Each Person Gives His Own Life Meaning by Albert Camus

Albert Camus made the problem of the meaning of life the main focus of his philosophy. The primary thesis of the philosopher is that human life is essentially meaningless. Most people live with their little worries and joys from Monday to Sunday, year after year, and do not give their lives purposeful meaning. Those who fill life with purpose, spend energy, rush forward, and sooner or later realize that ahead (where they are going with all their might) is death, nothing. Indeed, Camus is right in underlining everything’s mortality, which does not depend on the presence of meaning (McBride, 2018). This is the absurdity of our existence: to be reasonable in an unreasonable world. However, his ideas in dealing with the chaos do not provide a clear answer to the philosophical concern of finding a purpose.

The Meaning of Life by Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor refers to the lack of meaning as a source of understanding a meaningful life. Thus, a set of monotonous actions and a lack of desire for something does not necessarily mean a lack of meaning. After all, if this were so, then every person’s life from a broad perspective would be similar to the Sisyphean work, representing only a set of struggles and attempts (Cloos, 2019). Taylor teaches us to find the meaning of life in everything, and embrace and project it on activities, events, and everything people encounter. This approach seems to resonate with the modern trend in psychology, positively impacts one’s self-identification, and provides a comprehensive guideline for finding the meaning of life.


Cloos, C. (2019). Richard Taylor the meaning of life – is life’s meaning subjective? The Philosophical Life. Web.

Martela, F. (2020). Leo Tolstoy & the Silent Universe. Philosophy Now, 139, 22-25.

McBride, W. (2018). Camus and the meaning of life. In The Meaning of Life and the Great Philosophers (pp. 245-251). Routledge.

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