The Plague

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					The Plague
Assignment One
Characters and Point of View
Do the choices we make as human beings determine our fate?

Illustrate by close reading of incidents chosen in The Plague, Part Four. You may, when
necessary, mention details from parts 1, 2, or 3.

First make sure you:

1. define nature of choice in The Plague in general in Part Four
2. define fate in general according to Camus (find a strong quote)
3. define and justify your choice of two characters; either they reinforce each other in some
     aspect, or contradict one another (make sure you define this aspect)
Before you write, make a supplementary reading diary of Part Four: think Character (who is
this guy? would I want to live with him? why don't I like him? why do/don't other characters
like him?). You will have to turn this in (you may leave it in your journal if you wish).

4. find strong incidents as back-ups. Make sure they are sufficiently "rich" to allow for
   conflicting--or complex--interpretation (for example, Paneloux's death)
5. use your quotes wisely: ZERO IN ON LANGUAGE. Find a key word, develop its
   connotations (In Paneloux's case, "grace", or "flail" in Tarrou's, "saint", etc.) Is Camus's use
   of these terms the generally accepted meaning or a different one. Determine why. This will
   get you into point of view and back to the connection between character and theme.

Further Suggestions and Definitions

Character: The fictional person in the story. Pay attention to relationships: main characters
influence secondary ones (thus revealing their own "character"); in return, secondary ones may
act as "foils", thus revealing theme.

Characterization: How the writer makes us aware of the specific traits of the fictional person:
dialogue, biographical essay, flashbacks in someone's mind, name (for example "Grand"),
habitual phrases ("hats off") or body gestures, and illustration through action.

Narrator: One who tells the story.

Point of View (or narrative perspective): First person (think of the diary/confession form). Third
person omniscient (the writer as God), anonymous/self-effacing. Third person limited (inside one
head at a time). Third person naïve (with or without flashbacks). Third person dramatic (fly on
the wall), who gives only what s/he sees.

"The mind behind the eye" through which the story comes to us. By asking perspective
questions, you determine: SPACE--whether the narrator stands inside or outside (this town, the
town, our town). TIME--whether the narrator narrates on the spot, shortly after, much after, or
mix and match.

This, in turn, determines narrative involvement. Watch out for fluctuations, contradictions, and
irony.
Assignment Two Checklist

any missing item: minus 5% per item

_____ 1.    title
_____ 2.    Assignment one
_____ 3.    critiques from class (teammate and teacher)            10%
_____ 4.    2 page typed response to critique                      15%
_____ 5.    second reading diary for Part Four only
_____ 6.    outside source or document (optional ) 5% extra per essay if used (literary criticism is
            the only acceptable outside source)
_____ 7.    topic/predicate chart for your first 2 paragraphs AND the conclusion; change the
            order of these if you need, determine that you are using more than merely "flat" verbs
            (is/am, become, etc.). Distinguish between the grammatical subject and the
            psychological subject.                                 5%
_____ 8.    focused intro                                          10%
_____ 9.    powerful definitions of terms (do NOT go to Websters or otherwise quote a
            dictionary; discuss what the terms mean as you use them AS A PART OF YOUR
            ANALYSIS)                                              10%
_____ 10.   clear use of backup, support, quotes, references to the novel. DISCUSSION of your
            support.                                               15%
_____ 11.   two powerful quotes, with key terms analyzed           15%
_____ 12.   clear connections                                      10%
_____ 13.   language/vocabulary/grammar/repetition/other conventions under control--the paper
            should be clean                                        10%

FEEDBACK
What gave you the most trouble?



How did you solve the problem?



What are you proud of?


What does it do for the essay?


Any improvement--however minute--over your last essay.


Anything else I should know.
Analysis Sheet The Plague

1.     Is the nature of choice clearly defined? Look at whether the idea of choice is defined in
       terms of how it is used in The Plague as well as how the writer of the paper sees it and is
       using it in this paper.

2.     Is the nature of fate clearly defined? Look at whether the idea of choice is defined in
       terms of how it is used in The Plague as well as how the writer of the paper sees it and is
       using it in this paper.

3.     Are the two chosen characters clearly defined? Are they identified early on as who the
       writer will be talking about? Is the significance of and contrast/comparison between the
       two characters clearly defined?
Assignment One The Plague Critique Grid

This is a two-part critique, (A) and (B). It will be graded (10%), as will be your response to it
(15%); be precise. Do not say "good" or "bad" without saying WHY and HOW to make it better.

A) Analysis Sheet
Determine whether this essay has answered 1/2/3 clearly.
Analysis Sheet 1) WHY __________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
HOW _________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
What else could be helpful ________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Analysis Sheet 2) WHY __________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
HOW _________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
What else could be helpful ________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________


Analysis Sheet 3) WHY __________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
HOW _________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
What else could be helpful ________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

B) Focus on Introduction
Who is the intended audience? What words trigger us?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________


Relationship between essay and reader? Anything unclear?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

COHERENCE

a) Looking for a purpose:
Do a topics/predicate chart of the essay's first page only. Look for flow: going from old to new.
Circle topics
Scan page from circle to circle--consistent or not? _______________
why yes or no? ________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
what's missing? _________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

Underline Agents
Too passive? Does it work? _______________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
Too active? Suggestions? _________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________


b) Controlling the audience by controlling the ideas: look for transition/connection between
   paragraphs.

Anything from left field? Does it work? _________________
Why/why not? _____________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Return these annotated pages along with one page (minimum) to two page (maximum) typed
analysis of the paper you are evaluating. BE VERY SPECIFIC and as hard-hitting as you can, as
long as you remain courteous.
Respond to the analysis and turn in your response (2 typed pages) with the rest of the packet.
Discuss what you did in response to the feedback/analysis to improve your paper, and why and
how you used/did not use the feedback.
The Plague
Assignment Two
Imagery

(1) The study of imagery brings a better understanding of despair, exile, and death experienced
    during the plague. (2) These are the same experiences that Albert Camus and other French
    people had during the Nazi invasion of France in the Second World War--a political plague.
    (3) We cluster images of wind, dust, damnation, and death to create one main image of Oran
    and its citizens being trapped--unable to leave or even let other sin--on a lost island of the
    damned. (4) The images that Camus gives us develop into a central theme of exile.

Commentary of Quotes

(5) At the point of death, Rieux observes his friend:

        Rieux had before him only a masklike face, inert from which the smile had gone forever.
This human form, his friend's lacerated by the spear-thrusts of the plague, consumed by searing
superhuman fires, buffeted by all the raging winds of heaven, was foundering under his eyes in
the dark flood of the pestilence and he could do nothing to avert the wreck. He could only stand,
unavailing on the shore, empty-handed and sick at heart, unarmed and helpless yet again under
the onset of calamity. (269)

(6)     Rieux can be no more effective in helping Tarrou through his death struggle than he
could be in turning a derelict ship away from a storm at sea. (7) In both cases, Rieux can only
be a bystander watching the carnage. (8) In this quote, Tarrou is, indeed, a derelict ship
undergoing the raging winds of heaven, which are the plague.
Basic Check for Assignment Two
Imagery in The Plague

You may focus either on Part Three of Part Four. Limit yourself to one set of images at this time:
they must make a series.
For example: wind/dust/desert/treeless/gray/dark/damned/death.
Note: an image is sense-based and therefore has physical connotations. Develop these first,
before going to metaphysical connotations. this you can do through similarity and contrast.
For example: wind of pestilence/seven plagues of Egypt/errand into the wilderness/island of the
damned/island of the blessed.

Introduction
_____ (5 pts) lead sentence: what the study of imagery brings to novel
_____ (5 pts) what particular cluster you have chosen
_____ (5 pts) how it develops THEME or CHARACTER

Strong Quotes: Did you:
_____ (10 pts) pay attentionto the language of the quote: trigger words? grammar? (for
       example, what would a passive-heavy quote imply, either on behalf of narrator or
       character?)
_____ (10 pts) develop the physical connotations to the outside world/normal reader, as opposed
       to the fictional world
_____ (10 pts) the metaphysical connotations likewise

Argument: Is there a chain of related images?
_____ (15 pts) Find logical sequences, either by proximity (wind and dust, or treeless and desert)
      or by similarity (different objects, but all having the same sound--kinetic; the same color
      or the same shape--esthetic; or the same function--psychological)

Work on Your Conclusion
_____ (5 pts) what's the cluster
_____ (5 pts) what's the theme
_____ (10 pts) what's the point?

Overall Language
_____ (10 pts) eliminate synopsis
_____ (5 pts) eliminate repetitions
_____ (5 pts) eliminate metadiscourse

   Finally, a gift for some of you who grouped the images in Part Three by types; each type
    constitutes a cluster:
   elements (nature), including weather
   war (battle or hunt)
   noise/silence
   darkness/light/the color gray
   human/animal/bestial/inhuman/monster

Turn in: essay, rewritten conclusion, analysis grid, critique, response to critique, drafts, reading
diary
Analysis Grid for Image Analysis of The Plague
You may either use it for your own, or analyze your teammate's work.

1. does it identify clearly a cluster of images? Which ones?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
2. does it tell us clearly HOW they are related?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
3. do you agree or can you add?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
4. does it explain which of these images go beyond their physical reality to become symbols?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
5. do you agree or can you add?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
NOW, GO BACK AND LOOK AT TH CLUSTER
6. which of these images are metaphors?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
7. do they make a cluster?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
8. does it give us a few connotations (at least 2 or 3) for the cluster?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
9. do you agree or can you add?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
10. which of these metaphorical connotations, in turn, become symbolic?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
11. do you agree or can you add?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
WORK ON THE CONCLUSION: does it point out:
12. what the relationship between the images and the story is?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
13. what reading the story symbolically adds to our understanding of the novel?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

				
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posted:11/24/2011
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