• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the characterization of the central characters in The Outsider and Antigone and how this is important to the texts as a whole?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

World Literature Assignment 1 English A1 Higher Level Examine the characterization of the central characters in The Outsider and Antigone and how this is important to the texts as a whole? Examine the characterization of the central characters in The Outsider and Antigone and how this is important to the texts as a whole? Robert Ludlum commented that "Characterization is integral to the theatrical experience." 1 This rings true in the play Antigone, written by Jean Anouilh, and can be extended to the novel, The Outsider by Albert Camus, since both authors use characterization to important effect. Their manipulation of style, foils, imagery and action to typify the central characters - Meursault and Antigone - intends to disallow emotional attachment to the protagonists. This disassociation is important to both texts because it enables a more objective exploration of the characters predicament. Camus uses an indirect style of characterization when crafting Meursault; style, imagery and action have to be independently synthesized by the reader to form an audience dependent understanding of the "inexplicable protagonist" 2. From the outset Camus writes using a direct, simple uncomplicated style and colloquially familiar register. Meursault describes sex, an intensely passionate experience "She had her leg against mine, and I was fondling her breasts... I kissed her, but badly. Afterwards she came back to my place." 3 yet the imagery is literal, his tone inexpressive, detached and indifferent. ...read more.

Middle

The juxtaposition culminates during Creon's 'Ship of State' where he successively strips Antigone's act of its religious, political, moral and filial trappings, soliciting Antigone to abandon her gratuitous rebellion in favor of banal conventional happiness. To Creon, one makes his own happiness, the happiness inherent in a grasped tool, success, marriage and family. Antigone is "...disgusted with your happiness! With your life that must go on come what may... a humdrum happiness... I want everything of life... Total; complete. Otherwise I reject it... I want to die!" 13 Against all human prohibitions, and without reasonable cause, she insists on burying her brother even to the point of her own death. Like her father Oedipus, "Her insistence on her desire beyond the limits of reason render her ugly, abject, tabooed. In refusing to cede it, she moves outside the human community." 14Anouilh further reinforces this point by associating her with vivid natural imagery of such acuity it is almost otherworldly, like Antigone herself. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Anouilh and Camus, having used dissimilar techniques of characterization when crafting Antigone and Meursault, nevertheless have created protagonists who are ostensibly contrasting, but internally homogeneous. Antigone and Meursault share a fundamental inner characteristic, they are seekers of purity. When society threatens to compromise that purity both choose to transcend the challenge, thereby accepting death. Rejection of typical values ostracizes both from society and estranges from the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both reject conventional happiness: in doing so Meursault appreciates an inherently absurd world surrounding him while Camus himself eloquently summarized the dilemma presented by Anouilh as "Antigone is right, but Creon is not wrong". They both become strangers, outsiders to their community and alienated from their audience. This characterization becomes vital to both texts as the author's use it to distance us from an emotional attachment to the individual. By introducing likable and unfavorable characteristics as counterpoint within the individual they neutralize the ability of the audience to associate and empathize with the protagonists. The authors wish us to assess Meursault's and Antigone's respective predicaments in relation to ourselves without the subjective baggage of emotional attachment. 1 Robert Ludlum interview with book-reporter.com, 1997 2 Sartre, J. (1955) Literary and Philosophical Essays of Jean-Paul Sartre. Page 111 3 Camus, A. (1942) The Outsider. Page 24 4 Camus, A. (1942) The Outsider. Page 9 5 Camus, A. (1942) The Outsider. Page 30 6 Scherr, A. (2001) Explicator 58.3. Page 151 7 Girard, R. (1964) Camus Stranger Retried. Page 528 8 Anouilh, J. (1987) Antigone. Page 2 9 Anouilh, J. (1987) Antigone. Page 9 10 http://www.liverpoolnetworktheatre.org.uk/antig1.htm. Retrieved 15/02/09 11 Anouilh, J. (1987) Antigone. Page 6 12 Anouilh, J. (1987) Antigone. Page 14 13 Anouilh, J. (1987) Antigone. Page 47 14 http://www.sparknotes.com/drama/antigone/canalysis.html. Retrieved 01/02/09 15 Sartre, J. (1955) Literary and Philosophical Essays of Jean-Paul Sartre. 16 Sartre, J. (1955) Literary and Philosophical Essays of Jean-Paul Sartre. 17 Meyers, J. (2004) Somerset Maugham: A life ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Sympathy, in the case of Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and Tracks by ...

    When she plays a game of poker with the men, she is strong and opposes the men despite being intimidated by them. Unlike Oryx, Fleur develops a fatherly-daughter relationship with Nanapush who doesn't use her for selfish purposes. These differences make Fleur less sympathetic in the reader's eyes than Oryx

  2. Analysis of "The verger" by William Somerset Maugham. (Text of story in Vietnamese).

    It?s not important for him. He is frightened of a scandal, but Albert is a good verger. 5. Conclusion What struck you especially in the passage. The Verger by Somerset Maugham This is a short story with a point to make.

  1. The significance of the fatal flaws of Meursault and Oedipus in The Outsider and ...

    Meursault is unable to attach emotion to events, nor is he able to recognise the emotional significance of such events. Meursault?s apathetic and indifferent character is profoundly revealed in Meursault?s own words shortly after his mother passed away: ?Mother died today.

  2. The Stranger, Albert Camuss first novel, is a brilliantly crafted story and a portrayal ...

    Through Meursault, Camus emphasizes the inevitable demise in order to expose the ignorance humanity has towards the fateful, unavoidable, unpreventable, unknown end. It is the actions and behaviours of Meursault, the main character who composes the novel, who fabricates an absurd world and thus, detaches and alienates him from society.

  1. Moral Courage. After reading the story On the Rainy River, and the books, Antigone ...

    This time, the guards caught Antigone and arrested her. Antigone confessed to the king, however, she was not remorseful at all. Antigone said ?I knew, all knew; how should I fail to know?? Antigone knew the right thing to do even if the consequence was dire.

  2. Two Kinds by Amy Tan and Under Pressure by Carl Honor are two texts ...

    In addition to that, irony is expressed throughout the extract. The mother expects her daughter to know all sort of fact without having any relation to the topic. ?I had to look at a page from the Bible for three minutes and then report everything I could remember?(Line 17).

  1. The Peculiar Relation of Creon With the Underworld

    “let [Antigone] find a husband among the dead”.[3] Thus, Creon appears to be determined to execute Antigone. Yet Haemon is adamant and pleads mercy for his fiancé. In the following passionate rant, Creon once again displays his emotion and, at one point, is ready to execute Antigone “in front of

  2. Explain how Sskind has used narrative to develop the plot and the characters in ...

    Either way, the author has linked these two characters in this way. There is a chapter in where Baldini and Chenier (Baldini’s apprentice) have a conversation and it has been written in the form of a script. Süskind obviously meant for his to be intentional and there are many different reasons why this could be.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work