Individual presentation on Tolstoy or Camus


Individual presentation on The Death of Ivan Ilyich or The Stranger

Philosophy   1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mark Pursley

Individual Presentation Topics on Tolstoy and Camus

               Select one of the six topics and respond with either a written page or 5-7 Power Point slides.  

Topic I:  The Life of Ivan Ilyich.  What was important or meaningful in Ivan’s life?  What principles or values did Ivan live by?  What were his goals in life?  What kinds of relationships did he have with his wife, children, friends, and coworkers?  (Chapters 2-3)

Topic II:  The Death of Ivan Ilyich:  How did Ivan cope with his illness and impending death?  How did the behavior of his family and doctors increase his suffering?  Why did he receive comfort from Gerasim, the pantry boy?  What was the “lie” he suffered from?  Describe how the peasants and the upper classes differ in their attitude towards death.  (Chapters 4-8)

Topic III:  Ivan Ilyich’s Legacy and Salvation:  Describe the reaction of coworkers and family members to Ivan’s death.  What does this reveal about Ivan’s character? (Chapter 1)  What was the “moral agony” that Ivan suffered from?  Describe the soul searching that led to Ivan’s salvation in his final moments.  What is “the real thing?”  (Chapters 9-12)

Topic IV:  Meursault the Man:  What is Meurault’s outlook on life, what is important or meaningful to him?  Describe and discuss his reaction to his Mother’s death and his behavior at her funeral?  Describe his relationship with his mother.  Describe Meursault’s relationships with Marie, Raymond, and Salamano.  (Pt.1 Chapters 1-5)

Topic V:  Meursault the Murderer:  Discuss the events leading up to the murder and Meursault’s role in those events.  What is unusual about Camus’ description of the murder?  What disturbs the examining magistrate about Meursault’s attitude towards his crime?  How did Meursault cope with life in prison?  Discuss the trial.  How would you complete the following sentence:  Meursault was not executed for the crime of murder but for _______________?   Did Meursault deserve the death penalty? (Pt 1 ch 6 pt. 2 ch.s 1-4)

Topic VI  The Meaning of Meursault:  How did Meursault react to his death sentence?  Discuss his conversation with the chaplain.  Explain and evaluate his claim that “nothing matters.”  How does Meursault come to understand his relationship with the universe at the end?  Explain the meaning of the last sentence of the novel.  (Part 2 ch 5)

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