8 pages or more, 5000 words or more
references to: The Stranger by Camus, Metamorphosis by Kafka, and One day in the life Ivan Denisovisch by Solzhenitsyn.
refer to existentialism and literature of the absurd.
Gathered Background Info and ideas:
Elements of Camus’s writing during the 20th century:
-Meursault decides to be an absurd hero by going with the truth instead of lying in order to benefit himself throughout the trial.
“The hero of the book is condemned because he doesn’t play the game”
He says how he truly feels and as a result society feels threatened.
According to sartre’s views our absolute freedom allows us to “ uniquely transcend our facticity by means of a lucid acceptance of
This ties to Camus because for him, “this acceptance requires the complete abandonment or rejection of all hope, “leaps of faith”,
He asserts that its through one’s freedom ,revolt, and passion that infinite meaning can be made in a universe of meaninglessness.
This ties back to meursault because he attempts suicide and this leap of faith by revolting and finding this passion to stick up for
what is right and what his heart wants rather lying just
to help him throughout the trial.
From one day in the life of ivan denisovich
Historical and society
Description of camp.
How they were treated
The conditions they live in and how they were fed
-the bread portions unequal
•WWII’s manifestation of the human capacity for evil & the apparent triumph of human nature’s “dark side” raised profound moral,
religious, and spiritual questions;
•WWI War criminals guilty of unconscionable acts were named and indicted, many were tracked down and brought to justice by post-WWII
courts, and a few escaped. But what of passive immorality of people and nations which could not be prosecuted–that vastly greater
number who knew (or should have known), who stood by and who did nothing while wartime genocide and atrocities were committed?
WWII’s survivors struggled to come to terms with their own feelings of guilt and responsibility, deserved or not, for what happened
in WWII, and could not bring themselves to speak/write of their unalleviated by
•A mortal wound Residual Enlightenment faith in
•Existentialism (Sartre, Camus):
–human condition = absurd, senseless, useless:
–we are isolated beings cast into alien universe without truth, value, meaning;
–we must accept radical responsibility for our own being & existence
•Literature of the Absurd (Kafka & his heirs): the “real” is surreal
•Artistic autonomy: must break from past, its cultural traditions, & a world that’s lost all sense of justice, meaning, morality