There is no one single person who is perfect on the face of the Earth. We all have imperfections and made mistakes (some more than others) and as ugly as it seems it’s the truth. Perfection is a matter of perspective, because you can be perfect in somebody’s eyes but that same perfection can be a disaster in somebody else’s eyes. Perfection itself is imperfect. You can’t be perfect at everything you do, maybe you are really good at something but you will not be as good at something else. This quote perfectly explains what I’m saying; “If you try to catch two rabbits, they will both get away”. There are people who honestly try to be good and their only set back is temptation but at least they make an effort to be good. All of us display some degree of hypocrisy, after all, we do everything for our survival and own benefit, it is a basic instinct. The hardest thing isn’t trying to be perfect but to accept our imperfections. In this essay I aim to prove that in Albert Camus’ “The Fall”, the character of Jean-Baptiste Clamence wasn’t completely wrong when he affirmed that we all have some degree of hypocrisy and that we use it mostly for our own survival.

 Everyone has at some point done something that isn’t right in order to benefit from it. It’s not that everyone is a bad person and that everything they do is for their own benefit, but one has to admit that everyone makes mistakes. There are people who definitely make an effort to be better each day. We have to recognize that those people are the ones who progress and mature over time because at least they try to be better, not like Clamence who did not even tried to be a better person and to grow up. Instead he just tried to hide his mistakes with other actions and continued deluding himself. “To tell the truth, just from being so fully and simply a man, I looked upon myself as something as a superman.” When Clamence mentions that what makes him perfect is that he is “fully and simply a man” he also means fully flawed. This quote clearly shows that Clamence was satisfied with who he was, no matter if he was a good person or not, he was satisfied for whom he has. Clamence was obviously living a different life inside his head, he was living a lie and apparently he felt better knowing that the life he had inside his head suited him better than the real world. At first Clemence believes that the life inside his head is the real one, but later on as “The Fall” happens he realizes that his real life is a completely different one.

 On the other hand I also believe that we all have some hypocrisy in us. As Clamence suggests: “That’s the way man is. He has two faces. He cannot love without self-love.” For Clamence there is no other way of life, for him everybody is a hypocrite. He is using his case to make a generalization of the whole society. When the time comes and we are under pressure or in a difficult position we cheat, we lie, we do things we wouldn’t do in other circumstances. They say that only when we are really scared or about to face something that will change our lives dramatically, we show who we really are. Have you ever asked yourself why you are able to do such horrible things for your own benefit and then you completely regretted it? I have one simple answer: It is our basic instinct. That is, survive at all costs, do anything within your reach to survive and overcome the others. Why? Because we seek power and power transforms us; it makes us appealing to the crowd. As Albert Camus wrote “Power, on the other hand, settles everything”. So Clamence wasn’t completely wrong after all, “We are all hypocrites”.

 So what makes some hypocrites different from others? Well first is the things you lie about, because I truly believe in white lies. Then it comes the basic difference that separates hypocrites; the ability to accept your mistakes and realize that you are not perfect, that you are just like everybody else. As Winston Churchill once said: “The very perfection of a man is to find out his own imperfections.” Because the hypocrites who won’t accept their mistakes and keep lying to themselves and keep living in their own world just like Clamence did before he experienced “The Fall” are the ones who are standing the lowest in society. The types of hypocrites like Clamence, although they lived a lie their whole lives, they find out that they are not as perfect as they have thought and they slowly begin to realize who they truly are and eventually accept their mistakes and embrace their imperfections. “What does it matter, after all, if by humiliating one’s mind one succeeds in dominating everyone? I discovered in myself, sweet dreams of oppression.” This is one of the many turning points in The Fall, the moment when Jean-Baptiste Clamence accepts his reality. This is the spark that initiates The Fall, when he starts realizing what he really is and how the world he is living in is coming down. He realizes how deceiving himself is ridiculous but it works, he feels happy living the lie he built. After “The Fall” he accepts his reality and lives his real life.

 Jean-Baptiste Clamence wasn’t completely wrong when he said that everyone is a hypocrite. We all are at some point, depending on the situation, but most important is that the better hypocrite (if that can be) is the one who accepts and faces his mistakes and not the one who lives in his own world inside his own delusions and who would not accept his or her reality. There are all kinds of people and one might think someone is a good person, but you actually don’t know what’s going on with that person: if he is telling the truth, if he appears to be good but he only is that way with certain people, or maybe he is the opposite of what he appeared to be. Everybody lies. It doesn’t matter how you did it, when you did it, or why you did it, you lie. Clamence was a liar and a hypocrite but he was a good person because at the end, after “The Fall” he accepts his mistakes instead of ignoring them or hiding them. Sometimes a lie isn’t as bad as some people say. You can do a lot of good things by lying, like helping someone, or avoiding hurting someone. Let’s not forget that lying is a basic instinct and humans’ main priority is surviving. Someday the hypocrites who don’t accept their reality will be forced to face it and that’s when they will face The Fall and as they say “The higher you climb, the harder you fall”.

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