HW12 due 10/7: 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. [Read more…]

The Stranger Essay by RC

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. [Read more…]

The Stranger Essay by JK

Meaningless Joy: Finding Happiness Through Albert Camus’ Message in The Stranger

            In Albert Camus’, The Myth Of Sisyphus, Gods condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly roll a rock to the top of a mountain. If the rock rolled back down the mountain, Sisyphus pushed it up again. While Sisyphus’ punishment sounds both pointless and tragic, Camus does not believe so. He believes that, “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” (The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus 123). Camus articulates that Sisyphus’ finds happiness through his ability to accept and rise above his hopeless and frivolous fate. He argues, “If this myth is tragic, that is only because its hero is conscious… Sisyphus, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition. (The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus 121). While Sisyphus’ consciousness makes his story tragic, it also provides him with joy: “The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory… All Sisyphus’ silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him” (The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus 121-3). The Gods wanted to punish Sisyphus with a fate worse then death, eternal and meaningless labor. However, Sisyphus found happiness in accepting his fate. In The Myth Of Sisyphus, Camus depicts a man who transcends his absurd condition to find happiness in an otherwise futile and hopeless life. Camus, The Stranger, provides readers with a similar message. In The Stranger, Meursault, like Sisyphus, is forced to bear a hopeless fate, death. Just as Sisyphus transcends his meaningless fate, so Meursault transcends his. Camus argues, using Meursault as a parallel to Sisyphus, that one can still find happiness in futility, by rejecting God and hope, accepting ones temporal existence, and embracing the present. [Read more…]