HW12 due 10/7: The Stranger Essay

THE STRANGER ESSAY
First Draft due Tuesday, Oct. 7
Final Draft due Thursday, Oct. 9
3 page literary/philosophical analysis of The Stranger. You are expected to use The Myth of Sisyphus as a complement to your discussion.  Sisyphus is a philosophical commentary on The Stranger–Explore.  How does Sisyphus help us to understand Camus’ philosophy as communicated through Meursault?  IMPORTANT: While Sisyphus is used to give some form to the discussion (i.e. helping to shape the thesis), the discussion is focused on exploring Camus’ message and how he develops that message. While not necessary, I would encourage you to research Camus further to give you further context.  Folks, I expect this essay to demonstrate great thematic/philosophical control of  both texts.  Waiting till the night before is probably not a good idea.  Your reading responses and annotations should prove to be quite beneficial here.  This should be typed in font size 12 (times new roman  or arial).  You should have a title!!!  The title should reflect your thesis.  If you have any questions, please email me.

Sample Intro (with thesis):

The Hour of Consciousness: Understanding God’s Judicial System

Albert Camus’ The Stranger juxtaposes the importance of God’s morality and the impact it has in the judicial system of an absurd reality, in which social code is rigid and behavior that strays from protocol is subject to scrutiny. In presenting this environment, Camus emphasizes a universal morality, swayed by God and superimposed over an individual’s unique perception of the world, such as Meursault, the protagonist. Others condemn this tragic hero to an unfortunate fate, validated by the belief that because an atheist is subordinate in the eyes of God, he must gradually come to understand the ubiquity of this singular morality. Much like Meursault, in Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, Sisyphus is condemned to a fate he cannot control due to the social constructs of an absurd reality. Only when Sisyphus has reached the top of the hill with his boulder does he amount to what Camus calls, “the hour of consciousness”: essentially, the understanding of the absurdity of life. Camus’ placement of biased judicial figures gradually strengthens Meursault’s understanding of absurdity, illuminating the importance of the “hour of consciousness” in both articulating and refuting God’s ubiquitous morality.

 

General Formatting (Read Closely):

  • Double-spaced; size 12 font; Times New Roman or Arial
  • .75 margins on both left and right sides. Indentations– .5” or 1 tab space.
  • All pages beyond the first page should be numbered.  Page numbers should be placed at the bottom right of each page.
  • No Cover Page.  Include your name (i.e. Sean Leon), class (i.e. Leon, 12G), and date (Single space the heading). Place this heading in the upper left hand corner of your first page.
  • Be sure TITLE reflects the theme of the essay (for instance, 1984: Hierarchical Hegemony)
  • Include Title, Author, and General Theme of work in first paragraph of essay…For Example—Jean Paul Sartre’s Nausea
  • Follow MLA guidelines

Avoid the Following:

  • Avoid Pronouns: I, it, you, me, we, us
  • Avoid Troublesome language. Try to avoid using the following words: it, these, this, those, kind of, almost, seems, maybe, like, then, later, eventually, basically, so, many, a lot, things, due to the fact (or any variations of the fact that), in reality, very, really, forms of the verb “to be”
  • In the intro, nix all book-review commentary—i.e. “is fascinating, interesting…”
  • Be extremely careful with your use of all words…yet, for these words in particular, don’t think they are cheap: Truth, Beauty, Love, Nature, Reality
  • Avoid gross existential generalizations; remember, we learned early on that to come to a set definition of existentialism would be difficult if not impossible.  Remember, the various existential schools of thought—those whom we’ve covered (i.e. Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Sartre, Dostoyevsky) and those whom we have had briefly touched on in précis presentations (i.e. Jaspers, de Beauvoir, Heidegger, Camus, etc.).  These individuals help to define our context, so once again, avoid the generalizations.
  • While I am not suggesting that you avoid all modifiers, you certainly should be conscious of how you are using them. Yet, definitely avoid the likes of really, basically, very, excellent, terrible, etc.
  • Avoid misspelling proper nouns!

Remember:

  • Active voice should be your default voice and only use passive when you are CHOOSING to use passive voice.
  • Get comfortable writing in complex and compound sentences.
  • Introductions and conclusions are factored into the grading of this essay.
  • Read your essay aloud and you will hear many diction and syntax issues.

Keys to Good Writing:

  • Cohesion—Every sentence fits together; paragraphs flow smoothly.  Ensure that the entire discussion comes together as one unified discussion of your text and its context.
  • Concision—Less is more.  Use fewer words to explain yourself.  Begin fusing sentences by merging ideas into tightly knit phrases.
  • Precision—Accuracy.  Use words that accurately capture what you mean.  Don’t settle for words or expressions that come close.
  • Coherence—Does your essay make sense? Are your ideas organized in a logical sequence? Do you prove your thesis? Do the parts contain the essence of the whole?

 

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