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Title: Contemporary consciousness in David Mitchell's cloud atlas
Authors: Lai, Zaneta Zhi Yan
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Lai, Z. Z. Y. (2020). Contemporary consciousness in David Mitchell's cloud atlas. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: What is this life worth living for? This seems to be the central question that David Mitchell seeks to answer in his magnum opus, Cloud Atlas. It is important to note the diction ‘this’ life suggests an awareness of other lives – past lives that existed at a different point in time, future lives that have yet to exist, and the present life that certainly exists in the ontological now. The author candidly says in an interview that “all of the characters except one (Adam Ewing) are reincarnations of the same soul in different bodies throughout the novel, identified by a birthmark” (Mitchell). So what is the primary connection between the multiple lives that one lives? The present consciousness must attempt to draw the connections with the other consciousnesses which have lived, is living and will be living. The characters’ awareness of their reincarnated otherness in the novel is what I will define, for the purpose of this essay, as “a shared continued Consciousness (with a capital C) that transcends beyond the temporal lifetime of many other singular individual consciousness”. From this, I argue that individuals in Cloud Atlas find meaning in a contemporary existence through continued Consciousness.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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