The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays Test | Final 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 is paradoxical about Algiers?

2. Where did the writer spend his evenings?

3. When Camus writes '. . . like red beasts', he is using which literary device?

4. Camus describes a film in a handbill using words like 'sumptuous', 'staggering', 'amazing' and 'tremendous'. This is an example of which literary device?

5. At Belcourt, how have marriages been arranged?

Short Essay Questions

1. Of what is Camus speaking when he criticizes 'idealism of the worst kind' (p.188 of the Penguin edition)?

2. What factor does Camus claim separates him from some sections of the leftist movement?

3. What does Camus take away from his visit to Tipasa?

4. What is suggested about the Algiers community by Camus' reference to the colors seen on the beaches in summer?

5. Why do you think Camus calls nudists 'those Protestants of the flesh'?

6. What lies 'beyond the yellow walls of Oran'?

7. In what way did the philosopher Socrates demonstrate his lack of intellectual arrogance?

8. What attitudes and feelings does Camus convey to the reader in the opening paragraphs of his essay 'Return to Tipasa'?

9. What is the overall impression the reader has of Oran and its people?

10. What does Camus mean when he says that the 'tyrannies of today are improved'?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Camus' work has within it much that is lyrical in its description of place. Choose a short passage from either his essay on Algiers, Oran or Tipasa and analyse its literary qualities. You will need to comment on word choice, sentence structure, use of imagery and symbolism in the passage. Look also for scenic and emotional contrasts.

Essay Topic 2

Viewing this collection of Albert Camus' essays as a whole, how would you assess their importance in relation to current attitudes to the meaning of life, non-violence and conservation. This essay is a high-order task. You will need to demonstrate your deep understanding of the work you have studied. In preparation, you should review and reflect upon the central issues dealt with in Camus' work and check that you thoroughly understand his continual reference to the myths and philosophy of Ancient Greece.

Essay Topic 3

'Camus combines the sensual, spiritual and the intellectual in his collection of essays The Myth of Sisyphus.' Argue for the truth of this statement by close reference to three of the essays. You will need to explain and comment upon Camus' point of view regarding The Absurd, his admiration of Ancient Greek Culture and his evocative descriptive writing.

(see the answer keys)

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