Albert Camus' the Stranger
Albert Camus' "The Stranger" (L'Etranger) is a story of how the protagonist Meursault is eventually condemned to die because he would not conform to what society expected of him. Meursault throughout the novel remains is own person: he reacts to situations exactly the way he wants to. His reactions are uncompromising even in the face of opposition and danger. Society expects us to behave within the bounds of specific norms. Society, especially in Meursault's case) left no room for individualism. Camus' novel is a testament to individuality as opposed to working for the greater good of society. Meursault is condemned because he is a non-conformist.
Meursault's character is one which does not worry about expressing emotion. Eventually society uses this part of his character against him. Meursault, confronted with the death of his mother does not react by being outwardly distraught. He does feel sadness, but…… [Read More]
It's the main reason why Camus doesn't make an accent on tragedy of any particular death.
A very ironic correlation of life and plague is made by one of Rieux patients for whom plague and life have nearly the same meaning. Plague epidemic is a very talented mystification made by Camus in order to make analogies with real life, where illnesses, suffering and death contribute to the fate of every individual and are integrated into our life. In both cases person loses humanism which plays a fundamental role in resisting cruelty and indifference. Plague and death can not be either cured by physicians or cognized and explained by Catholic priests. Nobody can give explanation to the reasons of plague as it is as absurd as existence of Oran's townsmen at the very beginning of the novel. The death of the innocent child only deepens the dilemma as neither father Paneloux…… [Read More]
(71) In Resistance, Rebellion, and Death, Camus makes clear that man wants to live; in supporting death, not only do Christians run against their core Christianity, they also undermine the power of Christian life. Camus beleves that there will be no lasting piece in either the heart of man nor their greater society until death is formally outlawed; because the survival of life and the dearth of death are at the heart of Christianity, he finds that Christians are most demanded to support the life of those in the world. By supporting the death penalty at all, history provides ample evidence for Christian leaders who refused their Christianity by refusing life to other men. Nevertheless; he had one parallel in common with the Christian church: an understanding of temptation. During the Vichy Purge, Camus wondered for the first time if the death penalty were, perhaps, a viable punishment for particular…… [Read More]
Albert Camus' influential novel, the Stranger, a great work of existentialism, examines the absurdity of life and indifference of the world. This paper provides a summary of the novel, and outlines some of the novel's main themes.
The novel's protagoinist, Meursault, is a distanced and indifferent young man. He does not believe in God, and lives his life with seemingly sensuous abandon. After Meursault is caught up in the life of a local pimp, he rather inexplicably murders a young man on the beach, and is put on trial. In a ridiculous and seemingly arbitrary trial, he is essentially tried and found guilty for failing to adhere to society's beliefs and morals. It is during this trial that Meursault comes to terms with the absurdity of life.
The Stranger begins with the news that Meursault's mother has died. rites Camus, "Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know. I…… [Read More]
Plague by Albert Camus
Applications in 21st Century
The thoughtful writings of past are often written so thoroughly that they are applicable even today. One such writing The Plague was written to narrate the fictional plague incidence that is painted to have taken place in 1940. The event was a panic for the people in the story. Albert Camus, the author suggests that human sufferings are often too horrible that the survival of the community is at stake. The labor class is normally the one most affected by the epidemics, disasters and other tragedies. The novel can be discussed and applied to the today's world in five parts. The five parts of the novel have different applications for today.
The paper investigates main elements of the novel The Plague by Albert Camus to relate it to the 21st century's plague of racism and to find out how this…… [Read More]
In fact, the only time he shows anger in the story is near the end, when a chaplain visits him in his cell and he loses his patience with his preaching and questions. He is sentenced to die, and the only thing he hopes for is a big crowd at his execution, because that will give his life some closure and meaning. It is a sad commentary about an equally sad and empty life.
In conclusion, "The Stranger's" theme is both unsettling and completely clear by the end of the novel. Camus feels life is totally meaningless, a bleak assessment for most readers, and he illustrates this meaningless existence with Meursault, who is completely devoid of sympathy and feeling for anyone but himself. It is difficult to mourn him by the end of the novel because Camus has painted such a vivid picture of a man without a soul. He…… [Read More]
We accept these injustices because in theory the poor and the suffering can better themselves through hard work, due to the nature of the capitalist system. We try to rectify these injustices to some degree through social support safety nets: yet for many individuals, there is too much to overcome, too many obstacles placed in their way even before they are born.
On a macro level, the developing world often profits off of the developed world: the developed world uses products made in sweatshops, casually spends dollars at the mall, when those same pennies could buy a starving child food. This raises the question: if Omelas was destroyed, and the child was saved, would a civilization such as our own arise in its place, with many other starving children? As much as the utilitarian questions it provokes, "The ones who walk away from Omelas," also says a great deal about…… [Read More]
Certainly this is a key theme in books by diverse authors (Malamud, Tan, etc.). It is the very institutionalization of race that causes it to continue and perpetuate when, quite easily we see that figures such as James Baldwin and others, working in the 1920s and 1930s in Harlem, could begin the long road to overcoming White supremacy.
What does the "impact of modernity" mean to traditional cultures of the Afro-Asian-Indian world? What was the general reaction of the native populations? Why was the West so successful imposing its will on these areas of the world? Do we see examples of this in contemporary times? Construct a 250-300-word post answering these questions.
Time and time again we note that traditional cultures that are forced to interact with European-based systems often lose what one might call their "humanity." This paradigm began whenever European decided to move into an area and uspurp…… [Read More]
Stranger by Albert Camus
The main character, Meursault, mother dies in the book, and he travels to her funeral. As he sit by the coffin, he displayed virtually no emotion or offers any indication of grief. The next day, he meets an old coworker has is named Marie. They go out on a date to a diner and then a movie and shortly after a relationship forms. Later these two individuals take the relationship to the next stage and announce their engagement. Meursault's neighbor, Raymond, who is a notorious pimp and portrayed as immoral man, asks for help to lure his mistress back as well as to help him get acquitted at the police station on charges of beating her up. Meursault indifferently agrees to help Raymond as a neighborly thing to do.
As the plot develops, the author starts to portray Meursault's escalating indifference to life. Meursault then kills…… [Read More]
Plague: Albert Camus
Albert Camus' philosophy is often defined as the "philosophy of the absurd" the idea that life has no rational or real meaning (Ward, 2005). This philosophy is defined through the actions and life of his six characters in his novel The Plague. It is here that Camus attempt o imply that while there is no rational basis for moral order that does not suggest that one should have an indifferent attitude toward moral order. Camus instead presents himself as someone who is optimistic of the future even though he may lack hope. He defines the "absurd hero" as someone who resists the illusion that rational order exists but also resists despair (Ward, 2005).
His philosophy is similar to Existentialism, who tend to assert no rational or moral meaning can be tied to human existence. Unlike existentialist thought however Camus suggests that all humans have an…… [Read More]
Camus's novel revolves around the idea of love- love for the humanity. Tarrou was a person who had felt that kind of love at a very young age when he went to a court to see his father, an attorney, in action. He recalls: 'the only picture I carried away with me of that day's proceedings was a picture of the criminal. I have little doubt he was guilty -- of what crime is no great matter. That little man of about thirty, with sparse, sandy hair, seemed so eager to confess everything, so genuinely horrified at what he'd done and what was going to be done with him... I needn't go on, need I? You've understood -- he was a living human being" (Camus, 224).
That was important for him. It was important to see himself and others as human beings even if they had been accused of a…… [Read More]
The implications of this concept are enormous and profound. Just as Kierkegaard reverses the Hegelian construct of the universal being over the individual, the inner is placed by Kierkegaard in a position of supremacy over the outer. It has already been shown that faith can make acts moral to the individual performing them even when universal ethics would condemn the same act. Universal ethics are an element of the outer, or that which can be expressed and communicated publicly, whereas faith is inherently incommunicable and therefore individual and inner. Because inner faith can reject outer ethics, the inner gains a place of supremacy over the outer, and the particular experience must be seen as the main constituent of reality. An individual determines their own relationship to the universal based on their relationship to the inward looking absolute.
In the Stranger, Mersault at first find only the rejection of the universal,…… [Read More]
This story also made me sad, because the schoolteacher was really a good man. It also said a lot about the culture of the area, and how the whites and the Arabs get along. There are times when the schoolteacher fears the Arab, and does not like him, but he still sees him as a human, with feelings and needs. That is more than many people see when two cultures clash, and it seems like the schoolteacher was trying to be as fair as he possibly could. It made me think about what I would do in a similar situation. I would hope that I would be as fair as the schoolteacher, but that the entire situation would turn out better. It also made me think about all the stories we have read so far. They are all very different, and yet they all have common threads that tie them…… [Read More]
At the same time, Daru did not openly encourage the Arab to escape. Adherence to societal rules must be dependent on the justness of those rules and in light of the crime the Arab had been accused of, Daru likely felt some obligation to law and order.
Daru lives literally between the confines of the rigid colonial social order and the vast wilderness of the Algerian desert. His geographical position parallels his internal conflict between his obligations as a French man and his obligations as a human being. When Daru notes that "to hand him over was contrary to honor," he avers his belief in individual freedoms. On the other hand, the Arab's "stupid crime revolted him," because murder represented a breakdown of the fundamental bond of trust between human beings. Therefore, societal rules are irrelevant when they stem from prejudice and oppression but valid when they reflect the overarching…… [Read More]
Throughout his play, collective devastation is met with personal suffering. It is only when this becomes a shared suffering that it can become a collective way to redemption. The divides of a war now over would give way to this shared experience for all peoples of France, charged with the responsibility of rebuilding.
Indeed, this speaks much to the futility of war itself, as spoke by Camus when he resolves that "all a man could win in the conflict between plague and life was knowledge and memories" (Camus, 262). The viewpoint expressed here is in informed by the severity of orld ar II and the unprecedented global experience of attempting to be removed from this trauma. In the resolution instigative of this discussion, we can see that Camus holds on to some sense that man is inherently more a good creature than a bad one, and that he is to…… [Read More]
It is true that Grand changes over the book. He finds within himself the words to express himself and knows how he would act differently given the chance. He is redeemed at the end when he overcomes illness.
However, it appears that the individuals who are the greatest heroes in real life are those who change the most when confronted with adversity. This is because they are the ones who will help others change. They can be role models and encourage people to find something deep within themselves to deal with suffering, find love or destroy evil. Change agents are the ones who can motivate people to fight against the Hitlers and not be afraid of change inside or the world around them.
Who is this person who changes the most? As noted, Grand transformd, but not to an extreme. Nor is it Rieux who is always willing to help…… [Read More]
" By imagining Sisyphus happy, it then becomes possible to find our own happiness in no matter what situation.
Camus begins his argument with a powerful statement about suicide, noting that it is the most important of all philosophical problems. The question of suicide cuts to the core of whether life has any meaning. If life has no meaning then it only makes sense to end the life, and seek meaning elsewhere. Camus claims that accepting absurdity negates the function of suicide, and renders suicide itself an absurdity. To commit suicide is no different than perpetuating blind and useless faith in an abstract God. Both acts entail surrendering the personal will. Suicide and blind faith both deny personal responsibility and instead project and expect meanings onto the universe. Camus' argument is self-empowering. Instead of having faith or hope, holding out for the revelation of true meaning, the individual has the…… [Read More]
Daru is still trying to cling to a sense of morality; yet, the Arab himself shows how this will not work in a world of uncertainty because after he is set free, he goes to the police station himself.
James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" Topic 6
James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" is an interesting tale of a lost soul, who finds his solace and ability to express himself through the art of music. Sonny lost both of his parents, and his brother was not there for him during the times he needed him the most. Sonny's brother did not understand his suffering, and as a result he turned his back on Sonny during his times of darkness. Sonny was left alone in a world of darkness and he was not strong enough to deal with it in a healthier manner, as his brother did. Therefore, Baldwin writes "this life, whatever it was,…… [Read More]
If Kant's points are to be assimilated when adopting a moral stance which is consistent with man's dignity, such absolute terms are inevitably defined by dominant social structures, bringing us to the application of a normative theoretical structure. The inextricable relationship which theology and morality have shared throughout history tends to have a tangible impact on the way these hegemonic standards are defined.
And Kant, rejects any flexibility outright, however. Beyond its deviation from his established disposition toward moral absolutes, such variation violates Kant's maxim about man as an end rather than a means. Man is to be the motive for moral acts, with his dignity defining right and wrong. Indeed, as he pointedly phrases it, "the laws of morality are laws according to which everything ought to happen; they allow for conditions under which what ought to happen doesn't happen." (Kant, 1)
Like Kant, Camus asserts a clear…… [Read More]
Balducci, a soldier who Daru knows, approaches with an Arab prisoner. Balducci's government papers give custody of the prisoner to Daru, who must now take him to the French jail in Tinguit. Upset, Daru wishes to refuse. He does not want to become involved. Balducci likewise does not want to be in the lawmaker role. "You don't get used to putting a rope on a man even after years of it, and you're even ashamed-yes, ashamed." Balducci, in fact, is shirking his responsibility for decision making by passing the buck on to Daru.
Daru understands that the Arab is being made a political example -- in other words, a guinea pig. He killed his cousin in a family feud, which is not a case for the French colonial courts but the involved families. Daru accepts his charge, but relunctantly. By doing so, Daru is taking a clear position, defying the…… [Read More]
Martin Heidegger's Being and Time addresses both of these complex philosophical concepts, being and time. Being means existence, or the fact that something can exist. Heidegger approaches the concept of being from multiple perspectives. Being is the quality of existence, or the fact that something exists. Does this mean the opposite of Being is Nothingness? What does Heidegger say about anti-matter? Heidegger also probes the force that causes a thing or concept to come into being. It may only be possible to contemplate the quality or state of being if the thinker exists, meaning that a nothing cannot think about a something. Heidegger comes close to suggesting the existence of a collective human soul, a grand Being, which he calls Dasein. The Dasein is not quite like the Nietzsche, but it is an archetypal super being that has the potential to contemplate existence.
For Heidegger, Being and Time…… [Read More]
The pro-life arguments state that a fetus is in fact a real-life person in the making. Is true there's no supporting scientific evidence for the beginning of personhood, but what if an unborn child has a soul and can actually feel pain? Isn't then artificial abortion a crime? Just because we are not sure, we should take the most radical solution that we can and are allowed to by law?
This is the first solid argument to sustain the moral impermissibility of induced abortion. Because having an abortion equals the death of a life growing inside, as a natural result of unprotected sexual intercourse. It is therefore considered that the new life, the fetus, did not have a choice. And having an artificial abortion furthermore deprives him/her of the right to chose (whether to live or not). So, if it's about the right to chose and the freedom to decide…… [Read More]
.. Anyone who has considerably meditated on man, by profession or vocation, is led to feel nostalgia for the primates. They at least don't have any ulterior motives." (Camus, 4) Passion as well might make one authentic, or a true and mindless embrace of any aspect of life. Truthfully, the story does little to present us with true authenticity, because the narrator himself never discovers it.
The meaning of this story may seem very difficult to grasp if one makes the assumption that the narrator speaks for the author as a voice of wisdom and reason. Actually, no such assumption needs to be made. Camus is well-known for writing ironic works in which the speaker is not a mouth-piece for virtue. A key to this work may be found in something which Camus wrote shortly before-hand regarding his falling-out with Sartre. "Existentialists! henever they accuse themselves, you can be sure…… [Read More]
If dread enters as the knowledge that there is no knowledge from which to derive a decision, yet decision is all there is, then we reach a complicated idea of what comprises the individual. If there were a concrete and appreciable version of each person, ready at any time to assess, then the concept of dread would have less terrible implications. The fact is, when penetrated by the nothing of pure possibility, the reach of this nothing is beyond almost all conception. There never really is an individual, just some ongoing process of change. The nothing alienates the individual further than from mere others and the world. The nothing of dread brings into its fold, the individual. The individual supports this nothing and yet must determine itself on such grounds. hereas before, we had the Kierkegaardian maxim of individual as truth, we now have no grounds for determining anything. The…… [Read More]
The novel vividly illustrates this event, stated as follows:
The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes. That's when everything began to reel. The sea carried up a thick, fiery breath. It seemed to me as if the sky split open from one end to the other to rain down fire. My whole being tensed and I squeezed my hand around the revolver. The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where I tall started. I shook off the sweat and sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times…… [Read More]
The absurdity in Monty Python comedy sketches seem like a philosophical cousin to Albert Camus.
Likewise, Camus is like a distant relative of Buddha. Buddhism asks the individual to cease striving and desiring everything and anything -- including enlightenment itself. Life is suffering, says the Buddha, a concept that clearly reflects the punishment of Sisyphus. The root cause of suffering is not in the punishment, though, it is the desire to be set free or the desire to know why the punishment was meted. Elimination of the "uselessness of suffering," as Camus puts it, is the elimination of the desire for meaning. Camus would note that Buddhism is the religion of the absurd, or a religion that acknowledges the absurd and attempts to ironically pierce through it or overcome it. With a Buddhist outlook, Sisyphus simply rolls the rock up the hill more consciously.
When the meaning of life is…… [Read More]
Politics, literature and the arts -- Transformation, Totalitarianism, and Modern Capitalist life in Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis," Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," and Albert Camus' Caligula
At first, the towering heights of the German director Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" may seem to have little to do with the cramped world of the Czech author Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis." Fritz Lang portrayed a humanity whereby seemingly sleek human beings were dwarfed by towering and modernist structures, where one class of thinking humans were drunk on pleasure while others suffered in pain so that the upper classes or regions of Metropolitan society might prosper. Franz Kafka portrayed a man named Gregor Samsa who became a grotesque creature, increasingly beset upon by his tiny and encloistered environment until he is transformed into a gigantic cockroach. Rather than focusing on the higher echelons of society, Kafka focused on its lower elements immediately.
In Kafka, the transformed Gregor Samsa becomes…… [Read More]
And, if one flees historical reality, then, is it not futile in that eventually it will catch up with us? As a "guest" of this world, then, what is the basic responsibility we have towards humanity? Daru chooses an isolated and ascetic life -- he flees society, but society catches up with him, and it is his decision that allows him to become -- more human. Of true importance in this work is that the original title in French, L'hote means two things -- the guest, or the host. Thus, the title refers to the struggle of both the prisoner and the schoolmaster; giving the reader a moral guide that is less than logical, but historically practical (Camus, 2000).
Gimpel the Fool is a Yiddish tale set down by Isaac Singer, and translated into English in 1953. In essence, it is representative of much of the Judaic culture -- the…… [Read More]
Guest, with its existential feel, is a Camus classic. The short story's setting is stark, as the author's words evoke the Algerian desert in the midst of a snowstorm. Sweeping landscapes of desert winter and stark, unpopulated terrain are part of what makes "The Guest" a story about isolation. However, the protagonist, Daru, has chosen to live here as a teacher. His only contact with the outside world seems to be through his bags of grain, which symbolize civilization. Even his Corsican friend Balducci cannot rend Daru from his self-imposed solitude. Daru appreciates his secluded state and relishes the simple life. Therefore, the prisoner whom Balducci delivers to him is treated with kindness and compassion; like Daru, he too is a guest. But Daru does not identify with either the Arab or the French cause and therefore he cares not for the political implications of the prisoner's fate. Instead, he…… [Read More]
His final diatribe, regarding Empire does not absolve him, but instead accepts his own guilt in the indorination of feeling toward the desire to grow his empire. "One thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how no tto end, how not to die." (133)This echoes his own thoughts, expressed when he was teetering on the stool waiting to be hanged, he said to himself that he would stand in that place until the flesh fell from his bones, "to live." (125) He divorces the idea of empire openly, with his sacrifice and torture and then remarries the idea that he has reason to feel guilty because he is indoctrinated in the nature of Empire. To him the only real innocence is the children, which he then realizes connects him to his paternal and incestuous love for the barbarian girl, who was the eventual cause of his demise, for it…… [Read More]
Nature.... General Will
The ideas to create just and liberal society go all the way back to ancient times. The first examples of civil society were proposed by Plato and Aristotle, who saw the ideal state to be a republic ruled by the wise men and aristocrats as "first among equal." They didn't go in depth to explain its structure, functions of government in details, etc. These were the first discourses about the state where the harmony and equality established by the laws of nature will be preserved and developed. But the history shows that Greek republic failed under the pressure of power-gaining ome and Greek democracy was forgotten for centuries, but some of its principles preserved and where later developed by the philosophers of Enlightenment.
Enlightenment or renaissance of political thought and birth of civil political teachings was represented by a new idea of state, where the power was…… [Read More]
Both Krebs and Daru are also alienated because they are unable to adopt the philosophy of the cultures in which they exist. Krebs comes from a religious household and a country that promotes ambition from men, yet he cannot accept God's existence, nor can he work up the enthusiasm to seek a job and make money. Similarly, Daru is forced to turn in an Arab prisoner-of-war, yet he does not have the heart to force the Arab to do anything. Instead, he lets the Arab decide whether to turn himself in or to hide with rebels. The actions of Krebs and Daru are unusual because in most stories, the characters are ambitious and try to change their surroundings if they are unhappy within them. However, Krebs and Daru show no motivation for escaping their environments, and their lack of motivation reflects their alienation.
The narration of both stories is another…… [Read More]
Socrates, "The unexamined life is not worth living (rdg.uk)." It is for this reason that a critical examination of our most fundamental beliefs about truth and reality whether right or wrong becomes an important undertaking (rdg.uk). The examination of major life perspectives challenges as well as helps us to better establish many of our own assumptions about life (rdg.uk). We should all be concerned with how different views of the world clash or fit together, and with how the different perspectives (moral, scientific, religious, metaphysical, and personal) may be reconciled (rdg.uk). It is with these ideas in mind that this paper undertakes an examination of three major life perspectives, those of: naturalism, humanism, and theism (rdg.uk).
According to naturalism, heredity and environment influence and determine human motivation and behavior (naturalism.html). Thus, if an artist wishes to depict life as it really is, he or she must be rigorously deterministic in…… [Read More]
It is key to understanding the author's view of love and even her own status as a woman and as a thinker. Of course, the book can simply be read as a love story of infidelity and sexual liberty gone wrong in the face of an ever-changing political society in a state of national and European chaos. But the Mandarins de Beauvoir referred to were also the elite, the intellectual elites of Chinese society who held themselves above from the common peasants.
Thus, by calling her fellow Left Bank intellectuals 'Mandarins' De Beauvoir symbolically calls upon her fellow intellectuals to become part and parcel of the political fray, rather than wasting their energies with entangling personal alliances that can be just as dissipating as the betrayals of Vichy and the subsequent alliances that sapped the French nation of its own vital energies. She calls upon the intellectual Mandarins of French…… [Read More]
Life in a Godless orld
For as long as mankind has contemplated its own creation philosophers have pondered the meaning of life largely within the context of humanity's relationship to the divine, from Aristotle's metaphysical conception of God as all actuality to Descartes' systematic attempt to develop a proof of God's existence. The dominance of Christianity throughout much the civilized world invariably constrained the ability of great thinkers to challenge many of the religion's most fundamental precepts, from the concept of free will to the nature of good and evil, leaving much of the early philosophical canon regrettably limited by a reliance on unquestioned faith. After the European Renaissance validated the structural foundations of scientific inquiry, the glaring inability to empirically observe God in any conceivable form prompted many to privately question the dogmatic assertions of the Pope and his church. It wasn't until the momentous contribution of the German…… [Read More]
God, the World, and Literature: The Concept of Social Morality in Modern Literature
Literature, as the primary source of information of people in witnessing and experiencing realities interpreted by the author/writer, is more than a medium that extends messages of reality and experience. Literature is, first and foremost, an expression of thoughts and ideologies that may or may not be agreed upon by the author or his/her characters in the said work. The concept of social morality is such example of these ideologies extended thru literary works. Through literature, writers are able to provide people with varying themes related to the discussion of social morality, offering people avenues wherein morality can be created and developed by the society, and adapted by the individual.
Modern literature boasts itself of this kinds of art -- literary works that depict the life of individuals who were directly affected by their own or…… [Read More]
Foremost, though, is the Nietzschian concept that freedom is never free -- there are costs; personal, societal, and spiritual. To continue that sense of freedom, one must be constantly vigilant and in danger of losing that freedom, for the moment the individual gasps a sigh of relief and feels "free" from contemplating freedom, tyranny will ensue. He believed that it was the internal cost that contained value. This, however, still presents a problem for Nietzsche, in that he must find a way to connect the objective -- the rose is beautiful, with the "idea" of beauty (essence). Thus, the idea of freedom and the objective reality of freedom are dependent upon the manner in which the individual perceives their own path towards such a concept. emembering that Nietzsche lived while monarchs still reigned, his view of freedom from a political and cultural paradigm was heavily influenced by Bismarckian politics, which…… [Read More]
Myth in a Work of Art
Albert Camus was born on the 7th of November 1913 in Algeria from a French father and a Spanish mother. His father died in the First World War (seriously wounded in the battle of the Marne, he died a month later), so that Camus was raised by his mother and never knew his father. Camus spent his childhood in Alger, in his grandmother's house, where he received his first education. Later on, he passed onto to primary school under the tutorship of Louis German, to whom Camus will bear a strong gratitude his whole life and whom he mentioned in his acceptance speech upon winning the Nobel price in 1957. It was German that first encouraged Albert Camus in his studies and who convinced him to pursue a higher education within the Algiers University. During his time at the university, he founded the Theatre…… [Read More]
Philosophies of Life:
Personal and Traditional
hen one considers the many aspects of one's "inner life," it becomes clear that most, if not all of them are based upon some philosophical conception. Psychologists have long known that individuals, who have a strong sense of their life's purpose, as well as a spiritual, religious, or ethical viewpoint, tend to live longer, healthier lives. Further, they are less likely to suffer from depressive episodes (Hassad, 2000). Although each person's individual "philosophy of life" is different, there are some well-known philosophical interpretations that can shed some light upon common attitudes concerning personal identity. Six famous life philosophies are attributed to Socrates, Freud, Albert Camus, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Muhammad.
Although there are several ways in which one can interpret the meaning of life and personal identity, perhaps one of the most useful steps one can take in the process is to recognize…… [Read More]
The only reason to continue living is to accept and transcend the absurdity with personal scorn and strength. Camus is overwhelmingly concerned with the impact of his ideas on everyday life -- coping with the severe and confusing realities of everyday existence. Based on all of this, Camus asks, in the face of such defeat can a person be actually be happy? It is possible. It is the only reality that a person has. In this world, an individual must confront the limitations of knowledge.
I don't know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I cannot know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it. What can a meaning outside my condition mean to me? I can understand only in human terms... I do not want to found anything on the incomprehensible. I want to know whether…… [Read More]
strengthen mental discipline.
letter of Gratitude
(a) Lincoln's "higher purpose"
[b] What idea or insight in the full article would you recommend to others?
[a] what seems to be driving Stephen Glass? what are his life goals and aspirations?
[b] how do you think Glass would assess his own intelligence?
[c] Identify and discuss at least two strategies for deception Glass used.
[d] Did Glass leave what Greenspan called "a trail of casualties" in his wake?
[e] What advice would you give to editors about how to avoid hiring someone like Stephen Glass?
[a] Why should judges care if attorneys submit plagiarized legal briefs or motions?
[b] Do you think these punishments (taken as a whole) were too lenient, too severe, or about right?
[c] What distinction did the court make between these two cases?
[d] Do you think this kind of public shaming is too harsh?
PART…… [Read More]
life is an issue that has been plaguing thoughtful people since the first Cro-magnons evolved into modern homo sapiens with the power to think rationally and creatively, and most importantly, self-consciously. Aside from humorous attempts to explain the meaning of life such as Monty Python's movie The Meaning of Life, the question is a serious one. It cuts to the core of every human life, causing the individual to question his or her purpose and mode of living. Many people look to religious guidance as a means of discovering meaning in life, and religion remains the most effective way of providing people with a roadmap. Even if the absolute meaning of life is not revealed, we can at least learn to accept that God has a plan and that plan is inherently meaningful. Philosophers, however, have debated the efficacy of religion's ability to provide life with meaning. Existentialism is the…… [Read More]
Nearing the end of the 1960s, the analytic or language philosophy became the central focus point which led to the isolation of the classroom setting and the problems that came with it (Greene, 2000).
Most of the educational philosophers of the time were inclined towards restricting themselves to the official aspects and problems like the sovereignty of the system without any influence from the society and the surrounding environment and the assessment of the calls and school structure conducted for its growth or for the progression of the epistemology that it embodied (Greene, 2000).
All those setups that seemed to be coming across as invasive or seemed to add a personalized bias where it didn't belong were quickly identified and removed. This was one of the reasons that led to the obsession of the possible consequences that could exist due to the practicality of the philosophical theories. Inflexibility was adeptly…… [Read More]
When I see inequality in the world, I am visibly moved and affected. The only thing that makes me feel better is knowing that in America, we do value equality and many groups have been able to attain equality under the law on a collective level as well as respect on an individual level.
Introspection is a value that I deem extremely important and I believe it comes from a variety of sources from my parents to Oprah Winfrey and her progeny. My parents repeatedly advised me that it is alright to make mistakes as long as we reflect upon them and find a way to learn and grow from the errors of our ways. Furthermore, I have a closet addiction to watching self-help shows, buying self-help books, and following self-help websites. Inside of me is a budding psychologist who finds great pleasure in finding out the real emotional process…… [Read More]
Hence, the model of preparation applies to Guevara's situation and choices perfectly because all of the prior knowledge and experience he had through his medical visits across Latin America motivated him to be absolutely prepared for a long battle, hence he not only stayed in the area where he could learn the most, he associated with people who had been pursuing the same goal longer then him and knew more about the things that he wanted to be aware of .
Domain knowledge that Guevara gained by staying in Guatemala and preparing was also of significant importance to sharpen the technical skills he needed to possess to succeed. Two of the most important aspects that Guevara aimed to gain through the domain knowledge were:
To familiarize himself with the rules with which a revolution or change within different societies operates in differing environments and the practical wisdom to compete in…… [Read More]
The line of legitimacy, separating socially approvable use of force from violence, cannot be effectively drawn without an agreement on what constitutes the optimum amount of force necessary to maintain social order and to protect human rights against encroachment. A society subscribing to infinite morality which condemns all use of force as immoral is doomed no less than a society accepting the absolute pragmatism of tyrants. "
As Oleg Zinam proposes, these two extreme social attitudes to morality are equally unprofitable to the societies that adopt them. The attitude of absolute pragmatism can easily lead to the acceptance of political assassinations, as long as such acts may help the final political purpose. An example of absolute pragmatism can be the regime initiated by Hitler, who ordered the extermination of all Jews in an attempt to "purify" the human race by excluding anyone who did not fill in the Arian ideal.…… [Read More]
Every aspect of sociology is somehow affected by sexual politics and this can be seen in every postmodern representation of sexuality. Media is particularly dependant on sexual politics as a thematic representation and as a guiding force for human emotion. This is particularly true with regard to dramatic representations in film. The two films discussed above can be seen as examples of this thesis and illuminate both postmodernism and sexual politics in the modern world.
Cohen, Eric S. "To onder Again." First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life May 2000: 23.
Films That Go Thud; Some Actors Can Survive Bomb or Two." The ashington Times 5 Aug. 2003: B05.
Green, J. Ronald. "Always Already: Affinities between Art and Film." Afterimage 25.5 (1998): 8.
Hausladen, Gary J., and Paul F. Starrs. "L.A. Noir." Journal of Cultural Geography 23.1 (2005): 43.
Kipnis, Laura. Bound and Gagged: Pornography…… [Read More]
PERSONALITY VS SITUATION
Personality refers to the unique set of relatively constant behaviors and mental processes in a person and his or her interactions with the environment (Kevin 2011). It is generally accepted that personality is influenced by genetics in the form of dispositions or temperament at 40-60% and by the environment. The tasks of the psychologist are to characterize and describe personality traits, investigate the relationship between these traits and behavior, and understand and predict behavior from these traits. The approaches to the study of personality are descriptive; biological or genetic; learning; psychodynamic; and humanistic, existential or phenomenological (Kevin).
Existentialism vs. Humanism
Existentialism is difficult to define as those who conceived it denied they started it or it even started (Corbett, 1985). It can be vaguely described as a spirit or atmosphere of one's response to human existence. Among its precursors were Soren Kierkegaard and Fredrich Nietzsche.…… [Read More]
Westerns soon developed into a staple of TV land. The independence and strength of the characters epitomized the ideals that made America so unique. Families sat down with their TV dinners to watch such shows as " Gunsmoke," the Lone Ranger," the Rifleman," Have Gun, Will Travel," and " Maverick." You were not anybody unless you could sing the theme songs of each show.
Moviegoers were also being drawn into the theaters by the monster/science-fiction movies. About 500 film features and shorts were produced under this broad theme in the 1950s and early 1960s, explains the 50s B-Movie website. ne might argue convincingly that never in the history of motion pictures has any other genre developed and multiplied so rapidly in so brief a period. As Paul Michael comments, "n a sheer statistical basis, the number of fantasy and horror films of the 1950s... has not been equaled in any…… [Read More]
THE USE of SYMOLISM in FRANZ KAFKA'S
According to Nahum N. Glatzer, philosopher Albert Camus once said that "the whole of Kafka's art consists in compelling the reader to re-read him," and since the interpretations of Kafka are many, this inevitably leads to a return to the story itself "in the hope of finding guidance from within" (35). This internal "guidance" is related to many elements of fiction, such as metaphor, characterization, plot and theme, yet with a single reading of Kafka's the Metamorphosis, written during late November and early December of 1912 and published in October of 1915, one can easily recognize that the use of symbolism is the dominant trait and "guidance" for the reader, due to Kafka's extraordinary ability to transcend reality and create a world that could only exist in the realms of the supernatural or the human subconscious mind.
Essayist Eliseo…… [Read More]
There are many situations and concerns in the world that require using ethical thought. There are many issues we read about an learn about when we have to ask ourselves what we believe in. hich side do we take on euthanasia or abortion or sexual morays? It is the responsibility of all people to explore these issues so that their opinions are education and well-informed. It is the lazy individual who formulates their opinions on innuendo and rumor. hat is ethical? hat is moral? hat is right? hat is good? It is everyone's responsibility to ask themselves these questions and formulate their own answers to these extremely important issues. Perhaps one of the most controversial topics for debate is over the ethical right of the death penalty. Some feel the penalty to too severe and inhumane. Others feel the penalty is just and not used often enough. How…… [Read More]
Skepticism is defined as a school of philosophical thought where a person doubts the beliefs of another person or group. hile one person might believe wholeheartedly a certain political perspective or believe completely the dogma of a religion, a skeptic would have doubts about these beliefs or about the stories related to religion. Not only do they doubt organized religion, they also doubt the validity of socially constructed morals and laws. Sometimes they doubt the world as they witness it because they are unsure of the truth of reality as they perceive it through the senses (Butchvarov 1998). Like many philosophies, skepticism has origins in Ancient Greece. Pyrrho of Elis is credited with founding the philosophy, a branch of which was later named Pyrrhonism in his honor. The philosophy was expanded into countries throughout the known world, up to and including the early modern world. During the Enlightenment, skepticism branched…… [Read More]
The four Educational Philosophies
Essentialism argues that a common core of knowledge needs to be passed to learners in a disciplined and systematic manner. The concentration in this traditional viewpoint is on moral and intellectual standards that academic institutions should educate. The curriculum focuses on knowledge, skills, and academic rigor. Although this academic viewpoint is similar in some ways to Perennialism, Essentialism accepts the idea that this core curriculum may change. Education should be realistic, preparing learners to become useful people in the society. It should concentrate on facts and "the fundamentals," training learners to speak, write, read and think clearly and rationally. Schools must not try to set or influence guidelines. Students should be trained self-discipline, respect for authority, and hard work. Instructors are to help learners keep their non-productive intuition in checks, such as mindlessness or aggression. This strategy was in response to progressivism techniques…… [Read More]
The earth lay white under the night sky."(Kawabata, 1) This opening phrase of the novel is very revealing: the hero comes from the intimacy of darkness (the tunnel) into the open blankness of the Snow Country. The setting thus translates the sense of innocence but also that of emptiness and loneliness.
Camus' Stranger also hints at solitude and alienation even from the title. Mersault is already a famous literary character, the modern alien in society. The main difference between him and Shimamura is the fact that the latter has a Romantic bent towards fantasy and a narcissism that keeps him locked in his own world. The common trait that they share is their permanent sense of anxiety. Mersault, unlike Shimamura, is literally afraid of the people that surround him. Incapable of empathy, Mersault feels like a complete stranger not only because he cannot connect with the others but because he…… [Read More]
Guest & a Soldier's Home
Definitions of Alienation
According to Karl Marx, alienation is "…the process whereby the worker is made to feel foreign to the products of his/her own labor" (Purdue.edu). Marx asserts that the worker laboring for a capitalist corporation or a business is alienated because he does not own that product, someone else does, and his sweat and tears go into the production of items that another entity benefits from (Purdue.edu). The Merriam-ebster definition: "…a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person's affections from an object or position of former attachment" (www.merriam-ebster.com).
Self Alienation in The Guest and A Soldier's Home
A Soldier's Home: Since Krebs felt he had to lie to get anyone to listen to him he was technically alienated from the truth, and that removed him from the mainstream in society. It was his own doing of course. Krebs likes to look…… [Read More]
Terror, Imperialism, And Totalitarianism
Imperialism is defined in the abstract, quite often, as the ideology of 'carrying the white man's burden,' in other words, of carrying the white cultural burden of civilization to the native or darker peoples of the world. But in practice, imperialism often has a less lofty goal and terror rather than teaching is the method used to enforce imperialism's 'laws' and values of social and political control. In the past, such as in French-controlled Algiers, depicted in the 1965 film directed by Pontecorvo "The Battle of Algiers," imperialism is often enforced through a series of dominating policies or military actions by a stronger European nation. One country seeks to exert its control over another country or territory, often to gain an economic or political advantage in a particular region.
In the film, the Algerian people fight long and hard to wrest control over their own territory…… [Read More]
control over one's own destiny is an illusion of misconstructed ideals and metaphysical analysis. Beginning with Sigmund Freud's fascination with the power of the unconscious which he explicitly details through his work Dora (1963), the influence that the unconscious has on an individual is explicated and determined to practically guide everything that one does, but without really giving the illusion that one is in control. The unconscious controls the self, but does it define who one is? When there is no sense of control or free will, things fall apart. One wants to know that one can influence the way that one's life turns out, but in reality, a very small number of things are actually under one's control. By attributing all sense of control and destiny to the unconscious, one either loses the definition of who one is as a person, or gives up any sort of power in…… [Read More]
Good Man is Hard to Find
For the purposes of this essay, I chose Flannery O'Connor's short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find." "A Good Man is Had to Find" is an apt topic for research such as this, because the ambiguity of the story's position regarding a grandmother ultimately responsible for the death of her entire family leads to a wide variety of possible readings, each with its own adherents and defenders. Upon reading this story, I immediately questioned the grandmother's role in the story, and especially whether or not the story portrayed her in a positive or negative light, because although at points in the story she appears positive in contrast to the other characters, she is ultimately shown to be reactive, shortsighted, and altogether incapable of protecting either her family or herself. Using Google Scholar, I searched for academic essays and books discussing "A Good…… [Read More]
The Ethics of Anti-Terrorism
When it comes to being a victim, the best rational thought in the world is unlikely to influence one's opinion. One supposes that even the wife of a German S.S. Officer during the holocaust would be emotionally horrified and even intellectually confused if some Jewish rebel had "murdered" her beloved in the street. The cases of Eric Rudolph and other ideological killers prove this point as the society which they victimize often responds irrationally, pouring back hatred upon hatred rather than seeking to address the core ideological differences. Much of the cultural dimension of the War on Terror is another fine example, as much of the American/European response has been based on emotional patriotism, renewed violence, and stunned outrage rather than a calm, reasoned response. I would not, of course, say that abortionists or the victims of 9/11 were guilty in the same way…… [Read More]
To some, that suggests that college is a more viable alternative for many of those who would otherwise have sought jobs in the manufacturing sector previously.
However, there are at least two reasons that such a conclusion may be invalid. First, while many manufacturing jobs have disappeared, many other types of technical jobs opportunities have emerged from numerous new technologies (Klein, 2012). Many of them require vocational degrees and certifications but no college degrees. For many people without specific interests in vocational applications of any college degrees being considered, training programs for these types of jobs is much less expensive, quicker, and more likely to lead to satisfying employment options than a college diploma in a random academic area or one of great intellectual value but few employment prospects outside of academia (Klein, 2012).
Second, vocational training, in general, has changed significantly in the last several decades. Specifically, whereas vocational…… [Read More]