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Born in Mondovi, Algeria in 1913

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Presentation on theme: "Born in Mondovi, Algeria in 1913"— Presentation transcript:

1 Albert Camus 1913-1960 “Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth."

2 Born in Mondovi, Algeria in 1913

3 Algeria: Colonized Like Nigeria, Algeria was colonized (by France)
Natives (Arabs) were treated as second class citizens Suffered from Imperialism

4 Childhood Mother was Spanish, ½ deaf Father was French
Father died in World War I (Camus was 2) Family lived in poverty Mother depressed, didn’t care about her children (Camus had a brother).

5 Childhood Cont. Also, (as if things weren’t bad enough), he lived with: Grandmother (dying of liver cancer) Uncle (paralyzed) Themes of home life: misery and misfortune

6 Education *Went to school to escape depressing home life. He was very intelligent! *Was a talented soccer player until he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. (1930)

7 The world is falling apart!
Camus’ life was full of sadness, despair and misery. The world struggled with World War II (Pearl Harbor was bombed, France was taken over by Hitler, the Jews were being put in concentration camps) Something had to change!

8 1934-36 Joined French communist party instead of Marxist
Marxist Communism: classless, stateless, and oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made directly and democratically.

9 Socialism was simply the first step to communism.
Socialism-was, ideally, where everyone would share the benefits of industrialization -more workers than bosses (majority rules)

10 The problem? -Socialism is not a political system, it's a way of distributing goods and services. -On a large scale both fail– human perversity to blame. (never play fair)

11 Like this…

12 Help to found the Algerian Communist Party (PCA)

13 1935 1939-Works for various socialist papers WWII in first stages
No army- TB AT first –he’s a pacifist

14 Pacifist until…Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht- special armed forces of Germany during WWII. Resistance group! THIS IS WHERE AND WHEN HE WROTE………

15 Joins French Resistance cell: Combat
Uses moniker- Beauchard— Meets Jean-Paul Sartre (SAR-truh) here. He’s the father of your favorite philosophical movement..


17 Became part of Sartre’s group..
Tours America giving lectures on French Existentialism. TB returns in secluded for 2 years and writes The Rebel -analyzes rebellion/revolution -rejects communism

18 This destroyed his friendship with Sartre and even lost him some fans.
Became an Absurdist…which is like an extreme form of existentialism--


20 It starts with conflict ..
fundamental conflict between what we want from the universe (whether it be meaning, order, or reasons) ---- and what we find in the universe (formless chaos). We will never find in life itself the meaning that we want to find.

21 Either A. Place hopes in a higher power, or destiny, fate, way of thinking. or B. Conclude that life is meaningless. Don’t’ get all depressive yet… there’s more.

22 Absurd: Camus is interested in pursuing a third possibility: that we can accept and live in a world devoid of meaning or purpose. And even find enjoyment in the absurdities therein…

23 Absurd Cont. The absurd…resides neither in man nor in the world if you consider each separately. But since man's dominant characteristic is "being-in-the-world," the absurd is, in the end, an inseparable part of the human condition.

24 Thus, the absurd is not, to begin with, the object of a mere idea; it is revealed to us in a doleful (grief causing) illumination. "Getting up, drive to work, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, in the same routine…," and then, suddenly, "the seeing collapses," and we find ourselves in a state of hopeless lucidity (ability to see the truth) And luckily.. The truth can be humorous.

25 And Camus did say-- “Prefer truth to everything.”

26 LET’S PLAY A GAME! After you see a cartoon, exclaim “WHY, THAT’S ABSURD!” Then we’ll explain why together. You will soon be a master of sensing the absurdist flavor…









35 Main Thought: Life is absurd and death renders it meaningless-for the individual But, mankind and its societies are larger than one person

36 Camus and The Stranger Written in 1938 Published in 1942
Instant success!

37 Question? What behavior/response should someone show after/during the following situations? The death of a parent The birth of a baby The killing of a president Fire killing 9 children A prison inmate murdered by another inmate

38 Question again…? How does society treat those who don’t respond the way society thinks they should?

39 The Stranger: Summary The main character (Meursault) seems to have a good life (job, girlfriend). However, after killing an Arab, he is tried and found guilty not because of the killing, but because of how he reacts. (no guilt, no belief in God). He didn’t even feel sad or show grief at his mother’s funeral!

40 Structure Two parts Part I: Chapters 1-6 Part II: Chapters 1-5 Structured around 3 deaths, starting with the protagonist’s mother

41 The Stranger: Main Characters
Meursault: protagonist/narrator Employer: Mersault’s boss Celeste: Meursault’s friend, owner of restaurant Raymond: Meursault’s friend/neighbor, abuses his girlfriend Marie Cardona: has an affair with Meursault

42 Themes and Motifs Themes: Irrationality of the universe
Meaninglessness of life Importance of physical world Motifs: Death/decay Watching/observing

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