Part A: Quote from Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus
7. “It happens that the stage sets collapse. Rising, streetcar, four hours in the office or the factory, meal, streetcar, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm—this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day the ‘why’ arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement. ‘Begins’—this is important. Weariness comes at the end of the acts of a mechanical life, but at the same time it inaugurates the impulse of consciousness. It awakens consciousness and provokes what follows.”

Part B: Question
3. Discuss the themes of hope and love in the works of at least two authors from the course. How do they understand hope and love? How do you understand them? Give reasons for your interpretation.

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In Albert Camus’s book The Myth of Sisyphus, he writes about absurdity. First, he gives us examples of what constitutes absurdity. In the above passage, he gives an empirical observation of what absurdity feels like for the person experiencing the absurd. In fact, he gives several empirical examples. In the first example, he says “the stage sets collapse.” In this first example, Camus helps us to imagine something that could happen in our lives that would provoke the feeling of the absurd.
However, what does Camus mean by “the stage sets collapse”? He means that if a stage that was being used for the performance of a play suddenly collapsed. I imagine going to see “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway in New York City and in the middle of Act II the stage sets collapse. It would be an absurd moment when all of the artifice of the play and all of the actions of the actors would instantly turn into foolishness. As an audience, we would see what was behind the set. We would see the machinery that makes the fog appear and the way the special effects work. The actors, on the other hand, would lose their places and they would not be able to carry on the show in character. They would be forced to have either cancel the performance or close the curtain to allow workers to rebuild the set....

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