Existentialism, Albert Camus, and The Stranger Albert Camus (1913 - 1960), a French philosopher of the absurd, novelist, and dramatist History of Algeria French become involved because of political disagreement with the Ottomans Evidence of human presence since 4000 B.C. Settlers include African civilizations, Romans, Arabs, Turks, Europeans
The Turks win control of the area and allow pirates to monitor as representatives of Ottoman Empire French army lands in 1830 and begins colonizing the area French colonizers face rebellions and a large Muslim population Both groups want equal rights Conflicts in Algeria Left: Place de la republique, Algiers, 1899
French settlers have ruling rights, excluding natives, Muslims, and others from power French force Muslims to pay higher taxes French hold the majority of farmable land French government decides to grant French citizenship to Algerian Jews but not Muslims Furthers separation between different groups Conflicts last until the mid 1900s Algeri a in the early
1900s Life in Algeria for Albert Camus Born November 7, 1913 in Mondovi, Algeria Father dies in WWI before Camus is a year old and mother is physically disabled Grows up in poverty Receives a scholarship to attend school Contracts tuberculosis
which stays with him for the rest of his life Receives a degree in philosophy in 1936 from University of Algiers Begins writing stories and essays reflecting his life in Algeria with the common themes: Poverty, racism, corruption, mistreatment of women Vulnerability of human life Never-ending status of world
Works as a playwright and actor, eventually becomes journalist for Alger-Republicain in 1938 Moves to France at start of WWII and joins resistance movement Awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957 Dies in automobile accident in 1960 A Poem by Stephen Crane A man said to the universe: Sir I exist!
What is the relationship like between the man and the universe? However, replied the universe, the fact has not created in me a sense of obligation. What does obligation mean? What does this poem say about our
role in the world? What is Existentialism? 1. a philosophical theory or approach that emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will 2. A body of ethical thought centering about the uniqueness and isolation of individual experience in a universe indifferent or hostile to man, regarding human existence as unexplainable, and emphasizing mans freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of his acts What is Existentialism? The word first appeared in
1941 Individuals must not allow their choices to be constrained by ANYTHING -- not even reason or morality. One has the ultimate freedom to choose. Death: According to Existentialists Simply put: Life is short, then you die. According to Sartre, death is an absurd birthit is nothing but the wiping out of my existence as a conscious being
Whats the point of anything if everyone dies? Moral Individualism No standards for whats right and wrong No single standard for moral decisions I decide whats moral. Im responsible for the consequences of my actions. The Stranger
Published in 1942 smack in the middle of World War Two Also called The Outsider Camus first novel Focuses on the philosophies of absurdity and existentialism Takes place in Algeria First-person POV (Meursault) Separated into two parts (first part leading up to a major incident; second part after the incident) Discussion
points: 1. Existence is absurd and true meaning in life is impossible. 2. Day to day existence is filled with anxiety and fear. 3. The idea that I am born into a particular time, place, family, and economic environment is absurd. 4. When I am born, I am undefined without any prior essence or preconceived personality or soul. 5. In life, I must make choices regardless of whats best for others. I can only choose whats best for me.
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