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AS and A Level: Albert Camus
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Voltaire, however, mercilessly satirises the idea of optimism throughout Candide, and mocks these theories through physically manifesting them as characters. Candide himself is the embodiment of optimism; however much he dares to find a good side to any situation, he inevitably finds himself in increasingly miserable situations. While he never dares to blatantly dismiss the existence of God, he prefers to suggest that He is, instead, an indifferent deity. Particularly amusing is Cunegonde's recount of the Bulgarian pillage of her father's castle, where she starts off by saying, "I was in bed and fast asleep when it pleased God to
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To understand these writings, however, one first must understand the time in which they were written, for "to speak of Albert Camus and his time is to separate two entities that are essentially one." Born November 7, 1913 in Algeria, Albert Camus grew up fatherless and poverty-stricken. His father had died in battle in World War I the year after he was born. Camus was brought up by his mute and illiterate mother, and was never encouraged to read or learn, but in spite of these conditions and his nation's poverty, he always looked upon his youth in Algeria fondly: "Poverty...
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'I had to go up to Emmanuel's place to borrow a black tie and armband.' Any other person would have expressed deep hurt and anguish. Again Mersault is illuminated in a light of difference, of not being like everyone else. Grenouille, is also motherless, but this time from birth. This is because of his mother abandoning him after birth. She is beheaded, '...a few weeks later beheaded at the place de Greve.' This would place him as an outsider in society, as he does not have a proper family. At the vigil of his mother, Mersault has the audacity to smoke a cigarette, 'It really didn't matter.'
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From 1955 to 1956 Camus worked as a journalist for L'Express. At the time of his death, Camus was planning to direct a theater company of his own and to write a major novel about growing up in Algeria. The unfinished novel A Happy Death (1970) was written in 1936-38. It presented Camus, seeking his happiness from Prague to his hometown in Algiers. Albert Camus, has been misquoted and misjudged by people within his era. He is seen, as a tool for French Colonialism while in fact is whole life he has been fighting for the freedom of the ethnic Algerians from the oppressions.
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It has to be a victory for as Camus says: I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. (p.91). Sisyphus' life is transformed into a victory by concentrating on his freedom and his knowledge of the absurdity of his situation.
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The conditions are harsh and the protagonist ?hadn?t kept a calendar for years?, as he saw no purpose for having one seeing as it would be futile to keep a calendar as in his world. Life is unfulfilling and time in effect stands still, in the aspect of recreation and enjoyment, yet ?survival? appears to be their primal focus and instinct.
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In addition, he adds to this by introducing elements which will later relate to the First World War, and in doing so, ensures that when the reader reaches those sections, we will be reminded of the earlier scenes. In Part Three, Faulks describes the ?train of the Central Line [which] fitted its tube like a bullet in the barrel of a rifle?, this simile links the London Underground with the armaments of battle. He also reminds us that the tunnels of the Underground were ?dug by sweating tunnellers? which is reminiscent of Jack Firebrace?s role before and during the war.
- Word count: 947
The Stranger by Albert Camus. Immediately hes judged just because he doesnt seem to act the same as others wouldve if they were in his situation
?But I hesitated, because I didn?t know if I could do it with Maman right there. I thought about it; it didn?t matter. I offered the caretaker a cigarette and we smoked.?This is just the beginning of his down fall, his bad decision making is seen and he chose to smoke even though he knew it wasn?t appropriate at his mother?s funeral. ?I remember opening my eyes at one point and seeing that all the old people were slumped over asleep..who was staring at me as if he were just waiting for me to wake up?.
- Word count: 885