In thenovel Nausea, Antoine Roquentin feels that something has changed in the way hesees objects, but he doesn’t understand why. He remembered that he felt weirdwhen he was holding a stone, but he was not sure if the feeling came fromhimself or the stone. He recalled the strange moment as “nausea to the hands”. Roquentinthought that the weird feeling towards objects and people only happened when hewas alone or walking in the street, but this time, he also felt the feelingwhen he was in a café.
Roquentin also felt the nausea when he looked at thebartender’s purple suspenders, which he thinks sometimes appear blue. He thenrealizes that the suspenders were never purple, and that color is somethingthat doesn’t really exist. He requests the barmaid in the café to play hisfavorite song called “Some of these days” to help calm him down. When the songstarted to play, it successfully made the Nausea go away, he says that the melodyof the song crushes the time of the real world, making him feel in the music.
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Roquentinalso felt more comfortable in the dark, because he thinks that the Nausea occurswhen he is in the light. When in a café, he got disgusted at the behavior ofthe people around him, which he describes as robot-like, because he thinks thatthe people are trying to hide their own existence from themselves. He thenunderstands what was causing the Nausea, it was his fear of existence. He describedthat the Nausea was a result of colors, tastes, and smells that are not real,and that things just exist, Anything he touches no longer has any essence. He finally understood what was causing theNausea when he encounters the root of a chestnut tree.
He finds that theroot’s physical characteristics mask the root’s actual existence. The causeof Roquentin’s Nausea was because of Satre’s belief of “existence precedesessence.” Anything used to describe an object is not only irregular but doesnot really exist.