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Albet Camus Essay

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Albert Camus was born in Mondovi, Algeria to a French Algerian settler family on November 7, 1913. He had ancestors from both France on his father's side and Spain on his mother's side. He took pride in his ancestry as we later see that he becomes a member of the French Communist party and works for underground papers trying to fight invaders. Albert's father died in a battle of World War 1 in 1914 before Albert had turned one. This forced his mother, Catherine, and his older brother, Lucien, to move into their aunt's house in Algiers suburb of Belcourt in the working-class area, crowded with apartment buildings and factories. Despite all of this Camus attended school and received a good education and eventually received a scholarship to Lycee. Then in 1930 he is struck with his first bout of tuberculosis. The disease never killed him but stayed with him his whole life and gave him several major attacks throughout his life. Three years later he pursued interest in attending the university of Algiers and pursued getting a degree in philosophy. This was the start of his obsession on the philosophy of the absurd that would soon be the main focus of his writings and would eventually evolve into a much more refined philosophy. Being that he was struck at the age of seventeen by tuberculosis he confronted death early which lead him to believe in the philosophy of the absurd. The absurd results from the conflict between our awareness of death and our desire of life, from the opposition between our search for explanation and the mystery of all existence. ...read more.


In his next major work The Rebel we see his philosophy change from that of striving for the physical and instead trying to revolt and be different from everyone else. It was a change from the absurd man to a man in revolt. This man still believes that the world is absurd but he strives for individual personalized revolt instead of the physical things like before. It is all about man trying to transform himself instead of being who he already is. In the essay Camus discusses many types of rebellion such as metaphysical and historical. The main focus of this essay was the strong critique of soviet communism which later ended his relationship with long time friend, Sartre who was a strong believer in the soviet communism way. In the essay the question "What is a rebel?" is answered by "It is a man who says no" very plainly. This evolution of his thinking shows us how he continued to change his views and grow as a writer. It shows that it started to become a major theme in all his writings and continued to evolve and develop as did Camus as more than just a writer. His most creative work according to modern critics is his novel The Fall he used this novel to use a new form of writing that he cam up with. In The Fall, Camus utilized the monologue in order to express the universal egotism of all men. ...read more.


We can see how his belief that the world is absurd, that we are born by chance, live by encounter and die by accident affected his life. It almost seemed that he thought he had no control and that whatever was meant to happen to him was going to and there was nothing he could really do to stop it. Also the fact that he was killed in a car accident in 1960 at the age of 47 helps to exemplify this because he had commented earlier in life to close friends and family that death by car accident is a most absurd death. Yet in his short life, Camus made exceptional contributions to his field. His writings focused on many unsual topics which he made his own through his writing. His fascination on things such as separation, loneliness, compassion, rebellion and joy in the physical life. His books allowed people to find new ways to live their lives and new philosophies to abide by. Camus is often referred to as a major writer of his time as well as being a forerunner on the thought of the absurd in the twentieth century. He is also referred to in the same sentence as other great authors such as Kafka and Fyodor Dostoevsky. These three authors were leaders of their time and peeled away from the rationalism that was trying to be instilled into the public at the time and were able to break away and come up with their own thoughts. Camus made a significant contribution to our understanding of the absurd and always rejected nihilism as a valid response. ...read more.

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