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We have spent the better part of a week and a half investigating Camus’ philosophy of the absurd; its relevance in twentieth-century literature, its early forerunners, and how one character seems to epitomize all that is absurd. Your essay will be to explore one of the following topics in relation to Camus’ philosophy of the Absurd, specifically analyzing The Plague. Throughout the majority of his works, Camus is concerned with, in one way or another, the philosophy of the Absurd. Therefore, it is up to you to enlighten me on the ideas of Camus’ absurdist philosophy and find examples in The Plague. For this topic, you will need to perform outside research- the Internet is fine; however, you will need to make sure that you are citing an “academic” source—NOT Wikipedia, or other pseudo- academic sites. (My suggestion is to focus on one character in particular.) Compare and contrast the two major “positions” in the novel in terms of their relative closeness to the Absurd; that is, between Rieux and science versus Paneloux and religion. Is Camus providing the reader with a juxtaposition between science and religion? Why or why not? You may use The Myth of Sisyphus for support. Rieux interacts with several people and maintains a few relationships– although none, arguably, more important than with Tarrou. Compare and contrast his attitudes towards Tarrou from the beginning of the novel until Tarrou’s death. Does Rieux’s perception(s) of Tarrou evolve? How do the dynamics of their relationship change compared to someone like Rambert or Grand? Supposedly, Camus intended to write The Plague as an allegory to the Nazi occupation of Paris/France during WWII. Write a paper in which you analyze the elements of allegory in the novel. Your thesis statement needs to state clearly your position on one of the above topics. You will want your thesis to be clear and focused so that your reader knows exactly what you will be analyzing, as well as the purpose of your paper. You will need to write more than five (5) body paragraphs in support of your thesis, and this is where your outside quotes will offer support. Remember that you are not just presenting a thesis and supporting details, but rather you are using this opportunity to “teach” me about your topic. The better that you support your thesis, the stronger your essay will be, and the more likely that you will have “taught” me about your subject. Your essay must be 6-8 pages in length, double-spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman font. It must follow MLA formatting conventions, and have 5 sources- primary and secondary. You will need a Works Cited page (and this will not count towards your overall page requirement).


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