Existentialism as a philosophical system is not very well defined and nor is the system currently in vogue. Existentialism loosely concerns with the purpose, nature and possibilities for human existence. It arose in the aftermath of the Second World War, as a reaction to the widespread death and destruction that the event accounted for. In this regard, it is fair to claim that death is as important a preoccupation in existentialism as is life and life-affirming actions. Or rather, it is about the inevitability of death and the possibilities such a terminal reality opens up. This is exactly the situation faced by Ann. Her impending death makes her think hard about what it is to live. She then makes it a goal to experience all the bounties of life during the dying of the light. Herein Ann takes ‘responsibility’ for her life and actions. A less resolute soul might have descended into self-sympathy and melancholy. But not Ann - a true existential hero, she doesn’t see the point in complaining about her situation. Instead, she proactively and constructively engages with it.
Jean Paul Sartre attempts to understand why human beings do not have innate ‘essence’ or a programmed set of values, traits and aspirations. Ann’s words and actions were linked to the Absurd Universe, whereby her diagnosis created a journey for her towards understanding the meaning of human life. Ann’s decisions fit into the existential framework for she decides to give meaning to the reminder of her life the way she best sees fit.