The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What binds a man to the absurd?

2. What is the main idea in the final paragraph of the essay 'The Myth of Sisyphus'?

3. According to Camus, what makes the myth of Sisyphus tragic?

4. What assertions are always false?

5. In what ways are the thinker and the artist alike?

Short Essay Questions

1. What, for humanity, are the consequences of living in a world stripped of illusion?

2. What two views of Sisyphus are mentioned by Camus?

3. In mentioning the Diary (p. 100 of the Penguin edition), to what does Camus draw attention?

4. What does humanity need to do in order to understand the world?

5. According to Camus, what is the one serious problem for philosophy?

6. How does Camus describe the Church's treatment of heretics?

7. Why is the fame of a writer likely to endure and that of an actor not to do so?

8. What is absurd man and how can he deal with his predicament?

9. According to Camus, what must we take into consideration when reading the works of Franz Kafka?

10. Why does Camus claim that there can be no experience of death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What would Camus like the societies of North Africa and Europe to learn from each other and from Ancient Greece? In your answer, you should make extensive reference to Camus' essays Summer in Algiers, The Minotaur, Helen's Exile and Return to Tipasa. You should also consider what our own society might learn.

Essay Topic 2

Comment on the implications of what Camus calls the 'hiatus between what we fancy we know and what we really know'. You might like to focus on the famous example of Galileo and the Inquisition or cite other instances in which there was a gap between what humans thought they knew and what actually was the case ('flat' earth or the 'impossibility of stones falling from the sky'). As well as examining the implications of this hiatus, consider solutions to the problem.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay that deals thoughtfully with the following:

In an absurd world, is not philosophy itself absurd? If life has no meaning, why have learned people--over many centuries from Ancient Greece to the present--devoted so much time to discussing it? Might they not have been better occupied?

In other words, you will be demonstrating that philosophy is a necessary activity for mature humanity.

(see the answer keys)

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