Monday, October 22, 2007

Commentary on Camus’ “Myth of Sisyphus” discussion

Jay De Feo 1958, one of my favorite painters, standing in front of her painting The Rose--a really amazing piece that you have to stand in front of to appreciate the intensity of it.

This was such an interesting assignment (at least for me as your teacher)—so many of you who are having trouble developing a thesis which shows HOW an author creates meaning and what the effect is were picking model thesis sentences which did not do this either. The same exact thing happened in the Williams post where you choose the A and B papers. The good news is a bunch of you were right on. We will obviously talk about this in class next week.

Here’s an example from the Period 5 comment stream. (This was the most popular picked model thesis sentence):

  • In Camus’s essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus introduces the possibility that life is meaningless. Camus’s interpretation of the myth reflects of the idea of absurdity and how giving meaning to life in ways such as socially or religiously, is inevitably pointless because in the end death is terminal. Camus’s suggests that happiness arises from absurdity when one learns and accepts death. Although Sisyphus’s futile punishment is meant to be eternal and torturous Camus’s is able to help readers view Sisyphus as a happy man because he was able to come to terms with his punishment.

This is a wonderfully written introduction—however, it is a summary of what is in the essay and never shows how Camus creates theme through technique—it never offers how the language works. Though the author of this sentence should be lauded for her deft phrasing of language, if you read some of the sentences more closely, they are summary and sometimes self-evident.

In the Period 6 comment stream, this was the most popular thesis picked for its quality:

  • In “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Albert Camus reveals the unyielding power of a man’s consciousness when Sisyphus overcomes his punishment. Camus exaggerates the pointlessness and cruelty of Sisyphus’ eternal sentence to rolling an enormous rock up a hill through repetition and his choice of diction. The author tone remains subtle throughout the story until the last paragraph. Camus makes a strong statement at the end of the story, which summarizes his lesson for the readers. Similarly, it is at the end of a myth that Sisyphus, the tragic hero, realizes his consequences and accepts his fate.
This is wonderful—and near perfect. The phrase “through… his choice of diction” is too self-evident though. This basically translates as—the author uses word choice. A lot of you do this. The second the author writes, he chooses words—so what kind, and what is the effect, etc?

1 comment:

Micaela said...
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