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Albert Camus Biography. Roshini Jayasankar Justine Enns Michelle Anthony Pooja Viswanath . Camus’s Birth. Birthdate: November 7, 1913 Birthplace: Mondavi, French Algeria Stranger takes place in Algeria Mondavi was known for its sun and Mediterranean sea.

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albert camus biography

Albert Camus Biography

Roshini Jayasankar

Justine Enns

Michelle Anthony

Pooja Viswanath

camus s birth
Camus’s Birth
  • Birthdate: November 7, 1913
  • Birthplace: Mondavi, French Algeria
    • Stranger takes place in Algeria
  • Mondavi was known for its sun and Mediterranean sea.
    • Sea and sun are are used as symbols throughout his books
  • He was born to a poor but proletarian family

Camus- age 11

Communion Day

family influences
Family Influences
  • His father died in the Battle of the Marne (1914), one year after Camus’s birth
  • Camus was raised by his Hispanic mother who was deaf and earned little
  • Lived with his brother, mother, maternal grandmother and paralyzed uncle in a two-room apartment
educational influences
Educational Influences
  • He attended the University of Algiers
    • Played goalkeeper for the school’s football team
      • “Philosophies” of football actually strongly influenced his philosophical beliefs
        • Simplistic mortality:principles of sticking up for your friends, of valuing bravery and fair-play
  • Had to take on odd jobs in order to pay tuition
key educational influences
Key Educational Influences
  • Louis Germain
    • Helped him win a scholarship to the Algiers Lycee (high school) in 1923
    • 34 years later, Camus dedicated his Nobel acceptance speech to Germain
  • Jean Grenier
    • Helped Camus develop literary and philosophical ideas

Jean Grenier

marriages and love life
Marriages and Love Life

1934: Married Simone Hié

  • Morphine addict
  • Both sides -cheated on one another
  • Marriage deteriorated rapidly

1940: Married Francine Faure

  • Pianist, mathematics teacher
  • He often spoke and wrote to her about his literary career
  • Gave birth to twins
  • Claimed he loved her but did not believe in marriage
  • Conducted numerous notorious affairs
    • Believed to have triggered/escalated Francine’s depression

Albert Camus, Francine Faure and their two twin children

role in theatre
Role in Theatre
  • 1935: founded the Théâtre du Travail
    • Renamed Théâtre de l’Equipe (1937)
  • Company intended to produce socialist plays for the benefit of Algerian Workers
  • Served as:
    • actor, director playwright, translator

Theme: Humans want to comprehend the the absurd nature of existence

  • Works: Stage of Siege( 1948) The Just Assassins( 1950)
prior to world war two involvement
Prior to World War Two Involvement
  • Served as an an apprentice of journalism for the Alger-Republicain
    • Wrote documents analyzing conditions among the Muslims of the Kabylie region

Relation to Stranger

  • Arabs make up a portion of the Muslim community
world war two involvement
World War Two Involvement
  • During Phoney War period: declared himself a pacifist and wrote out against the war.
  • The right wing in Algeria saw him as a threat and exiled him
    • Believed in ideologies of the left-wing
  • He moved to paris and joined the French Resistance against the Nazi
  • He wrote for the Combat Paper (political journalism)
  • He also wrote to strongly oppose America’s decision to bomb Japan
  • Irony: during the war he wrote against communism
    • Was a member of the Algerian Communist Party in 1930
  • He retired from political journalism in 1947 and focused on Theatre
works around war themes
Works Around War Themes
  • His work during the war revolved around the doctrine of absurdity
  • It stated:
    • Can't make sense of one's experience
    • Human life has no meaning
    • Alienated outsider( Essential theme in Stranger)
nobel prize
Nobel Prize
  • Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957
    • Réflexions Sur la Guillotine
    • Influential work on behalf of human rights
  • Second youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature
camus s death
Camus’s Death

Date of Death: January 4,1960

He died from a car accident

  • Had planned to travel by train with his wife and children but decided to drive with his publisher
  • In August 2011, a Milan newspaper claimed his death was a Soviet assassination

Camus’s car after the accident

camus s political ideology1
Camus’s Political Ideology
  • At university: joined the Communist Party and then he joined the Algerian People’s Party
    • Leaned left politically but he did not conform to official Communist policy
    • Spoke out against Soviet Russia
    • Opposed totalitarianism in any form
  • He believed in the rights of individuals
    • Human being as a highly symbolic creature who must first rebel against the self (individual betterment before societal betterment)
  • Opposed the French colonization in Algeria

“At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.”

-Albert Camus

Camus’s Philosophy

camus s philosophy
Camus’s Philosophy
  • Camus denied being a philosopher
    • Said in a 1945 interview: he did “not believe sufficiently in reason to believe in a system”
  • Camus denied being an existentialist
    • Jean-Paul Sartre saw him as an existentialist
  • Argues human beings cannot escape from the fundamental question: “What is the meaning of existence?”
    • Denies that there is an answer to this question
  • While in wartime Paris, Camus developed his philosophy of the absurd.
    • life has no rational or redeeming meaning.
more on camus view on extensionalism
More on Camus View on Extensionalism
  • Camus believed that extensionalism was misunderstood in the United States as revolving around the idea of hopelessness.
  • Camus believes that life is absurd( illogical and irrational) but it is worth defending because it is valuable
  • Americans believed that mortality did not exist but he believed in ethics
  • Stranger: Seen through the foil of Raymond and Meursault
overview on absurdness
Overview on Absurdness
  • His work focuses on Absurdness
  • The Myth of Sisyphus heavily focuses on the concept of absurdness.
  • The concept focuses on the conflict between what humans want from the universe and what they actually get.
  • Humans can never find what they want in life
  • result humans will create a meaningless life or the need to find god
  • This is why he is not atheist or religious.
  • Thus the world is absurd and confusing but humans make the world absurd because it is not what they want.
albert camus and jean paul sartre
Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre
  • The philosophers Jean - Paul and Albert

Camus were more known for their enmity

than their friendship.

    • At the time they met (1943), each had already read each other’s books
    • Camus praised Sartre’s depiction of absurdity
    • Sartre likened Camus with Kafka and Hemingway
  • Camus and Sartre were the intellectual stars of Paris during the postwar years
    • Known as the existentialists
    • Became iconic figures of the ideological conflicts of the second half of the 20th century.
    • Rivalry shaped intellectual debates in France and around the world.
albert camus and jean paul sartre differences in philosophies
Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre:Differences in Philosophies

According to Camus, Sartre was a “writer who resisted” rather than a “resistor who wrote”

Sartre had a more negative view on humanity

  • Camus was positive about the applications of absurdity

Central issue that divided them: Soviet labor camps

Each author focused on different forms of oppression

  • Camus: tyranny of totalitarianism that permits imperialism
    • Camus detested that Sartre blindly accepted Soviet working camps
  • Sartre: tyranny of French oppression
camus s philosophy in the stranger
Camus’s Philosophy in The Stranger
  • Camus presents a philosophy of religious beliefs and middle-class morality, where sentience and personal honesty become the bases of a happy and responsible life.
  • In The Stranger Camus’s philosophy is portrayed by a young man, Meursault, who does not express his emotion towards his mom at her funeral.
    • does not believe in god
    • kills a man without a desirable motive.
    • deemed a threat to society and sentenced to death.
  • Camus’s simplistic narrative technique and his own experience as a reporter, helps to convey the sense of immediacy that lies at the foundation of his philosophy.
    • Moral orders have no rational or natural basis.
    • Meursault is not a philosopher, but a thinker. Furthermore, he is not trying to become someone more than himself throughout the novel.
camus s beliefs on religion
Camus’s Beliefs on Religion

“Between this sky and the faces turned toward it there is nothing on which to hang a mythology, a literature, an ethic, or a religion—only stones, flesh, stars, and those truths the hand can touch”

-Albert Camus

camus s beliefs on religion1
Camus’s Beliefs on Religion
  • Undergraduate thesis explored relationship between Greek philosophy and Christianity
    • Philosophy essentially rejected religion as one of its foundations
      • Becomes even hostile towards it in The Stranger
      • Centers his works on choosing to live without God
      • Effort to explore the pitfalls and issues of a post-religious world
  • Self-evident fact: we must die and there is no heaven
  • Believed traditional religion has lost its force
  • Modern secularism stumbles because it is not completely free of religion
camus s religious beliefs in the stranger
Camus’s Religious Beliefs in The Stranger

Religion is a human construction in order to create meaning in a senseless existence

  • Accepting religion means hope in an afterlife

Meursault twice refuses to receive his final rites in order to receive God’s forgiveness

  • Accepts death as his and everyone’s final end

Magistrate brandishes the crucifix at Meursault as a weapon

a final thought from camus
A final thought from Camus

“ Dont Walk behind me: I may not lead. Dont walk in front of me;I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend”

-Albert Camus

interactive close read activity

Interactive Close Read Activity

Turn to Part Two, Chapter 5

Begin with the passage that starts: “The chaplain looked at me with a kind of sadness...” and read until the end of the book

things we want you to look for
Things we want you to look for...
  • Examples of Camus’s beliefs
    • Hint: absurdism, religious beliefs
  • Parallels between Camus’s experiences and Meursault’s experiences
    • Hint: love/relationships/family ties
  • Imagery
  • Selection of details
  • Technique
autobiographical question 1
Autobiographical Question 1

Meursault refers to the chaplain as “Monsieur” as opposed to the religiously correct title “Father.”

How does Meursault’s attitude towards the chaplain indicative of Camus’s position regarding the role of religion in general?

Find evidence in the text to support your claim.

autobiographical question 2
Autobiographical Question 2

“Salamano’s dog was worth just as much as his wife. The little robot woman was just as guilty as the Parisian woman Masson married, or as Marie, who had wanted to marry me.”

Trace the parallels between the romantic relationships in The Stranger and Camus’s own life and philosophies. What evidence can you find in the text to support this autobiographical critique?

autobiographical question 3
Autobiographical Question 3

Trace Camus’s use of imagery in this passage.

How do certain images function as motifs throughout the novel? How can we parallel Camus’s use of imagery with what he experienced living in French Algeria?

work cited
Work Cited

"Albert Camus - Biography." Graduate and Post-Graduate Literary Studies. The European Graduate School, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

"Albert Camus Biography." Albert Camus Society. Albert Camus Society, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Aronson, Ronald. "Albert Camus." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University, 27 Oct. 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Aronson, Ronald. Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 2005. Print.

Eubanks, Cecil L., and Peter A. Petrakis. "Reconstructing the World: Albert Camus and the Symbolization of Experience." The Journal of Politics 61.2 (1999): 293. JSTOR. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Gallagher, Paul J. "Albert Camus vs. Jean-Paul Sartre | Albert Camus vs. Jean-Paul Sartre." Dangerous Minds. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Orme, Mark. The Development of Albert Camus's Concern for Social and Political Justice: "justice Pour Un Juste" Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2007. Print