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. Which groups of people exchange positions rapidly in this changed world?

2. What is the contrast between the historical and artistic spirits, according to Camus?

3. What word best describes Camus' attitude to Oran's shops?

4. With God dead, what remains?

5. What misconception of himself does the artist have?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Explain the attraction the desert has for thinking human beings.

4. What 'two thirsts' has Camus been able to slake through his visit to Tipasa?

5. Can the artist remain aloof from the world he comments upon, depicts and criticizes?

6. From information in Camus' text, what do we understand Tipasa to be?

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

8. Comment on the force of the phrase 'indulge in a swim' rather than 'go for a swim'.

9. What is ironic and unexpected about Camus' description of the way the Algerian people enjoy summer?

10. In what respects does Camus state that Algiers is capable of gratifying every human wish?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the role and responsibility of the artist in the modern world. Has anything in the context changed since Camus' death fifty years ago? How politically aware and involved should the artist allow himself or herself to be? What intellectual and physical dangers might be faced by the politically involved artist and should this matter?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay in which you argue for or against Camus' proposition that Sisyphus was happy in the eternal performance of his useless task. You will need to consider the chain of events that resulted in Sisyphus's fate. It will also be necessary for you to discuss Camus position regarding the absurd and your own response to this. There are no right or wrong answers in philosophy, but you will be assessed on the strength and validity of your argument as well as your written expression and the proper construction of your essay.

Essay Topic 3

What is your attitude to Camus' definition of the absurd? Do you think his argument is valid? What is your opinion of the examples he gives? Would you be likely to argue from a different point of view? Why or why not? Call your essay 'My response th the absurd'.

(see the answer keys)

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