Multi-Genre Essay Assignment:
For Camus’ The Stranger and The Misunderstanding, Israel Horovitz’ Line, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and/or Arsenic and Old Lace
YOUR TASK: Compare Albert Camus’ The Stranger to two other works we covered this unit: Camus’
· Your paper must analyze The Stranger + two other works we read/watched. Use ideas from all works to establish a controlling idea that enables you to analyze the works in an interesting manner.
· Use specific and relevant evidence from all three works to develop your controlling idea
· Show how each author uses specific literary elements (for example, theme, characterization, structure, point of view) or techniques (for example, symbolism, irony, figurative language) to develop theme
· Develop your essay in approximately 1000 words
· Use PRESENT tense when writing about literature
· Use proper MLA parenthetical citing: Meursault says, “I could feel my fate sealed” (61). See below for more details
· Organize your ideas in a logical and coherent manner
· Use language that communicates ideas effectively
· Follow the conventions of standard written English
Read through the following to help you formulate your own thesis and criteria for analysis; remember, you will need to support your thesis with at least THREE general points that will be developed with text-based evidence from the works.
· How the use of criminal characters helps develop philosophy of existentialism
· How the theme of isolation emphasizes theme
· How perspective works in both works to demonstrate the emphasis on the individual freedom of choice; show how choice, not fate or God, shapes characters’ lives
· How characters live in a hostile and/or indifferent universe.
· Use Stephen Crane’s short poem as a critical lens. Analyze each part and apply to the works.
· How the only meaning that can be found in life is the consequence of choice.
· How using “outsider” characters helps to build the theme
· How is the theme of waiting developed?
· How is life a search for happiness?
· How is the motif of blindness developed?
· How is the theme of judgment developed?
· What do the characters do to create meaning in their lives?
· What does each work reveal about human nature?
· Read Camus’ “Myth of Sisyphus” essay and explain how the characters find meaning like Sisyphus
· Critical Lens: “Life is for each man a solitary call whose walls are mirrors.” – Eugene O’Neill -- (You may choose to find another lens).
o In this way, you can use a lens as the basis for your critical essay in which you discuss all the works from the particular perspective of the statement that is provided for you. In your essay, provide a valid interpretation of the statement, which implicitly agrees or disagrees with the statement as you have interpreted it and how it applies to the works. Support your opinion using specific references to appropriate literary elements from the works.
How do I incorporate literary elements into my essay? Glad you asked!!! It’s easy!
· Meursault is characterized as indifferent and self-centered.
· Camus’ characters are isolated, symbolically situated in settings that keep them apart from others.
· Choice is a reoccurring motif in Camus’ works.
Quoting and Citing
FROM A NOVEL
The novel illustrates one man’s honesty towards himself. Lenny says, “I have to live with myself, and so I want to be fit for myself to know. I want to be able, as days go by, always to look myself straight in the eye” (17-18).
Notice that the quote ends, but that the sentence doesn’t. The page numbers are still part of the sentence. Keep them cozy! Also note that there is no p. or pg. or page or Page… just the number!
Within a sentence:
Holden Caulfield admits that he is a “terrific liar” (11). He fails at being honest not only with others, but with himself.
If the quote is more that five lines, then indent and use NO QUOTATIONS MARKS unless they appear in the text; in other words, copy the text exactly. The text is double spaced and the quote is single spaced….
The novel illustrates one man’s dedication to his loves, his art and his wife. The two are intertwined as he ponders his existence while painting the portrait of his wife.
The yellows glimmered in the painting, catching Beatrice’s blond highlights. It reminded him of her childhood, of their childhood, when they laughed in the sun. Now he thought of how sad she looked all the time and had to wonder how much of it was his fault. He sighed and reached for the paints, deliberately choosing blues and browns to capture the tired expression weighing down the carefree yellows. (28)
The paragraph continues to explain. Guest illustrates how experience inevitably steals youth and joy.
Note that that page number is not before the period. This is because the indentations and single space create the break.
FROM A PLAY
Follow the same format as above for short lines; or, preserve longer dialogue in the single spaced, indented style:
Camus uses the criminal to illustrate the extreme choices one makes create extreme consequences.
MOTHER: Oh my goodness, I have killed my son!
MARTHA: But you still have your daughter, don’t leave me, mother. (45)
When making an argument, the structure is
When making an argument, three is the magic number. See the outline.
Here is what this might look like:
TOPIC SENTENCE: William Golding’s novel shows how superstition drives the
boys to make irrational choices that lead to the downfall of their society.
ASSERTION 1: This begins when the
superstition of a beastie is planted in the boys’ minds early in the novel.
When they first hear of the beastie, fear quickly spreads among all the
characters; beastie becomes omnipresent in their minds and the littluns become
so obsessed with the idea of a beastie that they come up with a myriad of myths
and beliefs that fuels the degradation of their civilization to a more primal
state. EVIDENCE 1: Phil is a littlun who believes that he has seen the
beastie and tells the others, "I was asleep when the twisty things were
fighting and when they went away, I was awake, and I saw something big and
horrid moving in the trees” (84). EXPLANATION 1: He claims to have seen a
leviathan of a monster or a "beastie from water" and it has a
tremendous impact on the others. Despite the fact that these are educated boys