Does my instructor want me to compare AND contrast, or am I only being asked to do one of those things? Some instructors prefer that you only write about the differences between two things, while others want you to focus on explaining the similarities as well. Either way, you'll need to make sure that your thesis statement reflects your instructor's expectations. Sample thesis statement for contrast paper:
Critical and Biographical Studies 1. He was the second child of Lucien Auguste Camus, a military veteran and wine-shipping clerk, and of Catherine Helene Sintes Camus, a house-keeper and part-time factory worker. Shortly after the outbreak of WWI, when Camus was less than a year old, his father was recalled to military service and, on October 11,died of shrapnel wounds suffered at the first battle of the Marne.
As a child, about the only thing Camus ever learned about his father was that he had once become violently ill after witnessing a public execution. In his posthumously published autobiographical novel The First Man, Camus recalls this period of his life with a mixture of pain and affection as he describes conditions of harsh poverty the three-room apartment had no bathroom, no electricity, and no running water relieved by hunting trips, family outings, childhood games, and scenic flashes of sun, seashore, mountain, and desert.
These father figures introduced him to a new world of history and imagination and to literary landscapes far beyond the dusty streets of Belcourt and working-class poverty.
It was in secondary school that Camus became an avid reader absorbing Gide, Proust, Verlaine, and Bergson, among otherslearned Latin and English, and developed a lifelong interest in literature, art, theatre, and film. He also enjoyed sports, especially soccer, of which he once wrote recalling his early experience as a goal-keeper: That helped me in later life, especially in mainland France, where nobody plays straight.
Among his various employments during the time were stints of routine office work where one job consisted of a Bartleby-like recording and sifting of meteorological data and another involved paper shuffling in an auto license bureau.
One can well imagine that it was as a result of this experience that his famous conception of Sisyphean struggle, heroic defiance in the face of the Absurd, first began to take shape within his imagination.
That same year Camus also earned his degree and completed his dissertation, a study of the influence of Plotinus and neo-Platonism on the thought and writings of St. Over the next three years Camus further established himself as an emerging author, journalist, and theatre professional.
The name change signaled a new emphasis on classic drama and avant-garde aesthetics and a shift away from labor politics and agitprop. It was during this period that he also published his first two literary works—Betwixt and Between, a collection of five short semi-autobiographical and philosophical pieces and Nuptials, a series of lyrical celebrations interspersed with political and philosophical reflections on North Africa and the Mediterranean.
He started the decade as a locally acclaimed author and playwright, but he was a figure virtually unknown outside the city of Algiers; however, he ended the decade as an internationally recognized novelist, dramatist, journalist, philosophical essayist, and champion of freedom.
This period of his life began inauspiciously—war in Europe, the occupation of France, official censorship, and a widening crackdown on left-wing journals. Camus was still without stable employment or steady income when, after marrying his second wife, Francine Faure, in December ofhe departed Lyons, where he had been working as a journalist, and returned to Algeria.
To help make ends meet, he taught part-time French history and geography at a private school in Oran. All the while he was putting finishing touches to his first novel The Stranger, which was finally published in to favorable critical response, including a lengthy and penetrating review by Jean-Paul Sartre.
The novel propelled him into immediate literary renown. Camus returned to France in and a year later began working for the clandestine newspaper Combat, the journalistic arm and voice of the French Resistance movement.
During this period, while contending with recurrent bouts of tuberculosis, he also published The Myth of Sisyphus, his philosophical anatomy of suicide and the absurd, and joined Gallimard Publishing as an editor, a position he held until his death. After the Liberation, Camus continued as editor of Combat, oversaw the production and publication of two plays, The Misunderstanding and Caligula, and assumed a leading role in Parisian intellectual society in the company of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir among others.
In the late 40s his growing reputation as a writer and thinker was enlarged by the publication of The Plague, an allegorical novel and fictional parable of the Nazi Occupation and the duty of revolt, and by the lecture tours to the United States and South America.
In he published The Rebel, a reflection on the nature of freedom and rebellion and a philosophical critique of revolutionary violence. This powerful and controversial work, with its explicit condemnation of Marxism-Leninism and its emphatic denunciation of unrestrained violence as a means of human liberation, led to an eventual falling out with Sartre and, along with his opposition to the Algerian National Liberation Front, to his being branded a reactionary in the view of many European Communists.
Yet his position also established him as an outspoken champion of individual freedom and as an impassioned critic of tyranny and terrorism, whether practiced by the Left or by the Right.
InCamus published the short, confessional novel The Fall, which unfortunately would be the last of his completed major works and which in the opinion of some critics is the most elegant, and most under-rated of all his books.
During this period he was still afflicted by tuberculosis and was perhaps even more sorely beset by the deteriorating political situation in his native Algeria—which had by now escalated from demonstrations and occasional terrorist and guerilla attacks into open violence and insurrection.
Camus still hoped to champion some kind of rapprochement that would allow the native Muslim population and the French pied noir minority to live together peaceably in a new de-colonized and largely integrated, if not fully independent, nation.
Alas, by this point, as he painfully realized, the odds of such an outcome were becoming increasingly unlikely. In the fall offollowing publication of Exile and the Kingdom, a collection of short fiction, Camus was shocked by news that he had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He absorbed the announcement with mixed feelings of gratitude, humility, and amazement.
On the one hand, the award was obviously a tremendous honor. On the other, not only did he feel that his friend and esteemed fellow novelist Andre Malraux was more deserving, he was also aware that the Nobel itself was widely regarded as the kind of accolade usually given to artists at the end of a long career.
Yet, as he indicated in his acceptance speech at Stockholm, he considered his own career as still in mid-flight, with much yet to accomplish and even greater writing challenges ahead: Every person, and assuredly every artist, wants to be recognized.
A man almost young, rich only in his doubts, and with his work still in progress…how could such a man not feel a kind of panic at hearing a decree that transports him all of a sudden…to the center of a glaring spotlight? And with what feelings could he accept this honor at a time when other writers in Europe, among them the very greatest, are condemned to silence, and even at a time when the country of his birth is going through unending misery?
Of course Camus could not have known as he spoke these words that most of his writing career was in fact behind him. He also formulated new concepts for film and television, assumed a leadership role in a new experimental national theater, and continued to campaign for peace and a political solution in Algeria.Read on as former high school college advisor Alice Kleeman breaks down the just-released Common App prompts in what one college expert calls a “master class.” And, as a bonus, she looks back at some of her favorite essay topics from over twenty years of advising students.
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