Thoughtfulness of your response, thoroughness of your examination of the prompt, insights



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Choose one of the following topics for an in-class, timed essay on The Stranger. You may use any notes you can fit on a 3X5 (or smaller) card. Your essay will be evaluated on the following criteria: thoughtfulness of your response, thoroughness of your examination of the prompt, insights about the social implications of The Stranger and Existentialism. You will also be expected to effectively integrate selected vocabulary words from unit 10 into your essay.


  1. Essay on Existentialism ~ Use the following quotes to support your essay explaining the ideas of existentialism and how they appear in The Stranger. Be sure to identify who says each quote, and about whom/what each quote is speaking. Each quote must be used; additional quotes may be used.

  • “It was then that I realized that you could either shoot or not shoot” (Camus 56).

  • “I had been right, I was still right, I was always right. I had lived my life one way and I could just as well have lived it another” (Camus 121).

  • “We’re all elected by the same fate” (Camus 121).

  • “He wasn’t even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man” (Camus 120).




  1. Summarize the components of existentialism. Evaluate your understanding of this concept. Do you agree or disagree that existentialism should be taught in high school? Substantiate your opinion based on your understanding and study of The Stranger, “Five Ways to Kill a Man,” “Effort at Speech,” “Killing An Arab,” “Novel…Often Misunderstood,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Cool Hand Luke, and other texts and sources, your observation of others, and your own experience.



  1. Writers often highlight the values of a culture or a society by using characters who are alienated from that culture or society because of gender, race, class, or creed.

Select a character from The Stranger who plays a significant role and, in a critical essay, show how that character’s alienation reveals the surrounding society’s assumptions and moral values. Analyze the moral and ethical implications for both the individual and the society.


  1. Novels and plays often include scenes of weddings, funerals, parties, and other social occasions. Such scenes may reveal the values of the characters and the society in which they live. Select a scene from The Stranger and, in a focused essay, discuss the contribution the scene makes to the meaning of the work as a whole.


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