In her 1970 essay ‘Existentialists and Mystics’, in which she discusses two types of novels and their heroes, Iris Murdoch says about the existentialist novel:
We know this novel and its hero well. The story of a brave man, defi ant without optimism, proud without pretension, always an exposer of shams, whose mode of being is a deep criticism of society. He is an adventurer. He is godless. He does not suff er from guilt. He thinks of himself as free. He may have faults, he may be self assertive or even violent, but he has sincerity and courage, and for this we forgive him, (…) He might do anything.