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Taylor Carmain

Professor Brook

ENG113, Composition

October 8, 2017

Carpe Diem has a lot of different meanings and definitions. It is a term that is widely

used by people to help get through the day, week, or even year. Everybody defines Carpe Diem

differently. While everybody has their own definition, it is important to remember what we

define ourselves as. For many, being a Christian comes into mind. Being a Christian means to

have a Christian worldview on how to live, what we do, and how we act. During the course of

the last few weeks, we have looked at multiple writings from different writers. I will be

evaluating Horace, Camus, and Fitzgerald. I will be comparing and evaluating these writers

definitions of Carpe Diem to a Christians worldview. For Horace I will be evaluating and

comparing it to Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing by Soren Kierkegaard. For Camus I will be

evaluating and comparing it to Revelation 21-22. For Fitzgerald I will be evaluating and

comparing it to Ecclesiastes.

In the poem Odes by Horace, Horace views the term Carpe Diem as not worrying about

the future because the future is already set. Near the ending of his poem, he says seize the day,

as little as possible trusting the future (Line 11.8). Horace believes that everything is in power

and we have no control over it. He uses examples of what his gods would be. The one he refers

to his Jupiter. He states whether more winters Jupiter has allotted or the last, / which now

weakens against opposing rocks the sea / Tyrrhenian: (Line 11.4-11.6). We do not own the

future and we do not have control of the future. This is similar to a Christian's worldview
because as a Christian, there also is no control in the future and how we live our lives. Our lives

are already played out the way that the Lord wants it to be. In a Christian worldview, Purity of

Heart Is to Will One Thing by Soren Kierkegaard, it is similar. Kierkegaard views the term

Carpe Diem as time not being relevant because God is eternal. He says, Only the eternal is

always appropriate and always present; is always true. Only the eternal applies to each human

being, whatever his age may be (2). Here Kierkegaard is saying that we are not seizing the day,

but seizing eternity. When we are focused on the time that we are in now, we stuck in it because

our time isnt being spent well. Odes and Kierkegaard are similar because Odes is not concerned

about the future, because he is well aware of what happens at the end. The end is death, eternity,

with God.

In the writing The Myth of Sisyphus - Absurd Freedom by Albert Camus he defines the

term Carpe Diem as not living for something, or worrying the past. Camus wrote, Knowing

whether or not man is free involves knowing whether he can have a master (481). He believes it

is about focusing on the now and present because at the end, everyone ends up in the same place,

which would be death. The master being the Lord, the ones who holds it all and knows all. He

wrote, Obeying the flame is both the easiest and the hardest thing to do. However, it is good for

man to judge himself occasionally (487). The flame is being the Lord. As hard as it is to admit,

obeying everything that he wants for Christians is hard because Christians are human. Christians

want to follow their own path at times, even though they know it is not the way. Its about

having a passion with other people in the world, experiencing the same thing before the end

comes. In evaluation to the book of Revelation, it is not similar. There will be no more night.

They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, For the Lord will give them light.

And they will reign for ever and ever (New International Version, Ecc 22.5). In Revelation it is
about focusing on the eternity and what is about to come. Also in the book, it gives it hints about

human creations such as beautiful lamp posts and buildings that give meaning, making their way

up to heaven with up because of how well it was created and the intended purpose of the


In the writing Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald he defines the term carpe diem

through a set of characters named Dexter and Judy. Fitzgerald says, At this time the country

gave him a feeling of profound melancholy--it offended him that the links should lie in enforced

fallowness (1). The main character Dexters life is based around trying to be wealthy and

successful through materialistic objects and who he hangs around with. He goes through life

changing everything about him to his jobs, to who he decides to spend the rest of his life with. In

the end, Dexter does not end up happy. He ends up sad, and feeling empty because the only thing

he ever really wanted was love. In evaluation to the book Ecclesiastes, it is not similar. It is not

similar because Dexter is fixed on materialistic objects that dont matter in eternity. In the book

Ecclesiastes it talks about how objects and things down here on earth do not matter because we

have an eternity waiting for us in heaven with the Lord. God is all that we have. Everything that

we own down here will soon be judged because it matters what kind of worker we were, not

what we got from the work we completed. Everyday is a new day of learning, And further, by

these, my son, be admonished: of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a

weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his

commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man (The Old Testament, Ecc. 12.12-13).

The readings that we have read from the writers Odes, Camus, and Fitzgerald all have a

different standpoint on what Carpe Diem means to people. On the other hand, Christians have a

worldview of how to seize life. The writer Kierkegaard and the books Revelation
and Ecclesiastes show that it is not seizing the day for us, it is seizing eternity because once we

spend our time here on earth, our true lives comes out when we are with the Lord.


a presentation of Thirteen/WNET New York ; produced by Catherine Brown Collins, DeWitt

Sage ; written and directed by DeWitt Sage. Winter Dreams, F. Scott Fitzgerald. New York

:Winstar TV & Video, 2001. Print.

Camus, Albert. "Absurd Freedom." The Myth of Sisyphus. N.p.: n.p., 1942. 477-788. Print.

Ecclesiastes. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Horace. Odes 11.1. Wiki source.org

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation:Odes_(Horace)/Book_I/11. Accessed on 13 Sept.


Kierkegaard, Soren. "Chapter." Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing. N.p.: n.p., 1938. 1-4. Print.

Revelation (also Apocalypse). NIV Vers. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.