Journal #5: Response to Success Podcast #1
1. Thursday is the last day to make up the existentialism quiz! See me to review concepts today during work time.
2. New York Times article from 1/27 on Korematsu-- it was never overruled!!!
Work Time Options
Seminar Questions (Part 3 of seminar prep)
1. What passage BEST represents Camus’s recommendation for how we handle the Absurd (the imminence of death and meaningless of universe)?
2. What is the significance of the conclusion of the novel? How does it reflect Meursault’s transformation as well as Camus’ philosophy of the Absurd and/or existentialism as a whole? Look specifically at this quote from pages 122-123:
“For the first time in a long time, I thought about Maman. I felt as if I understood why at the end of her life, she had taken a ‘fiance,’ why she had played at beginning again. Even there, in that home where lives were fading out, evening was a kind of wistful respite. So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too. As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself—so like a brother, really- I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate”
3. Albert Camus outlined three different responses to one’s recognition of the Absurd…one’s understanding that life was meaningless. 1. Suicide. If all life ends in death and there is no inherent meaning in the universe, all we do is for nothing, then why not end it? Camus did NOT advocate this path because death is no more meaningful and it rids us of dignity. 2. Putting faith or hope in something beyond ourselves….perhaps a higher power, perhaps the idea that one day life will be better, or that death could be postponed. 3. Accept that life is meaningless but live with dignity and create your own meaning out of your life. The 3rd was what Camus advocated for in his own writings. Read pages 108-109 from the top of the page on 108 until the line “I would just be caught up in the machinery again” on page 109. Which of the three of these responses to the Absurd does Meursault initially consider and what does he ultimately decide by the end of this passage?
4. Why do you think Camus chose a murder trial and a hanging as the climax of the novel? Think about the relationship between the courtroom, a trial and the concept of the Absurd. You might start by looking at pages 89-90 where the prosecutor examines two witnesses about Meursault's relationship with his mother.
5. What is the significance of the story about the Czech and how does it relate to the concept of the Absurd? (pages 79-80)
6. How does the relationship between the Chaplain and M represent the concept of the Absurd? Also, how does the trial represent the Absurd?
7. What is the significance of the line, "everything is true and nothing is true" (91)? Read page 91 then compare to pages 98-101 (Closing Arguments of the lawyers).
8. Why does Meursault want people to greet him with cries of hate at his execution?
Additional Seminar Questions (Created by you during group seminar prep):
9. To what extent are you Meursault?
10. Why did Meursault hesitate to shoot the gun?
11. If Meursault didn't care about killing the Arab then why did he take the gun from Raymond?
12. Who is "the Stranger" and from what is he estranged?
13. Why is the lawyer asking about Maman's death during the trial?
14. How has reading this book changed your outlook of the meaning of life?
15. What relevance importance does the robotic female reporter have?
16. Do you believe one's life is as good as another?
17. What meaning does the chaplain have in the book?
18. What realization about life did Meursault gain at the end and would he have come to this same realization if he had died of old age instead of the death sentence?
19. If marriage means so much to Marie, why is she so willing to join her life with a man who does not care about her? (page 41)
20. Why did Meursault feel like he had to explain that his mother's death wasn't his fault? (page 1 and 20).
Humanities 11 Teacher at Animas High School