Basic Existentialism, Absurdism, Nihilsm

Basic existentialism, absurdism, nihilism

Basic existentialism, absurdism, nihilism

 

Absurdism

In absurdist philosophy, the Absurd arises out of the fundamental disharmony between the individual’s search for meaning(Existentialist) and the meaninglessness(Nihilist) of the universe. As beings looking for meaning in a meaningless world, humans have three ways of resolving the dilemma. Kierkegaard and Camus describe the solutions…

  1. Suicide
  2. Religious, spiritual, or abstract belief in a transcendent realm, being, or idea.
  3. Acceptance of the Absurd

 

Christian Existentialism

  • Christianity => grace, humility, and love.
  • God => Love.
  • Evil => consequence of action.

 

Nihilism

  • Life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.
  • Knowledge is not possible.
  • Reality does not actually exist.
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Romeo and Juliet: Before You Read

First:

Consider each of the following questions and write a post in your blog inspired by your thinking.

  1. What stories, plays, or TV shows have you seen in which a young couple in love were determined to have their happiness? How did they turn out? Compare two that you remember. Describe some of the features you think were either similar or different.
  2. Most people think that it is necessary for us to control our emotions if society is to be reasonable and safe. However, there are times when people act emotionally. What are some of the feelings that cause people to:
    • fight with each other?
    • defend a friend no matter what?
    • fall in love with each other?
    • fear or resist authority?
    • harm themselves or others?
    • decide if it is better to avoid a confrontation than encourage one?
    • decide not to “take the law into their own hands,” even though they believe they have been wronged?
  3. Can a person really decide that he or she is going to fall in love with another person?
  4. If you are familiar with horoscopes, comment on why some people might like to read them.
  5. When you have an argument with somebody, how do you attempt to resolve it?
  6. When an adult tells you, “I don’t think you should do that,” how do you usually respond?
  7. Sometimes there is a fine line between deciding, “Yes I will” and “No, I will not.” Explain how you decide between the two.

 

These questions raise important ideas for discussion such as love, hate, friendship, emotion, and reason. These are all important themes in Romeo and Juliet. 

Next:

But before you blast ahead and read Shakespeare, start with a bit of background mythology.

Read Pyramus and Thisbe:

Comment on any three of your classmates posts connecting ideas they raised with ideas you encountered in the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe.

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2015 ELA 20-2 Final Exam: Suffer

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
– Edwin Markham

DIRECTIONS: Write a well-organized composition on the topic below.

Often in literature, a major character faces a conflict between his or her moral principles and society’s conventions (rules of conduct or behavior). The character must choose between doing what he or she thinks is right or conforming to the demands of society.

By the end of the story, “Of Mice and Men,” the main characters’ dreams have been shattered and they have suffered great losses.

a. Explain what you believe each of the following characters has lost:
• Candy
• George
• Curley’s wife (before she loses her life)
• Crooks

b. In what ways are the losses of these people similar?

c. What were some of the main clues in the story that told us George and Lennie’s dream would probably not come true?

d. Why does George believe his dream is now destroyed? How do you feel when he says, “I guess I always knew we’d never do her?”

 

As you write your composition, remember to:

  • Give the title and the author of the work.
  • Focus on how each character suffered great losses.
  • Give any necessary plot information but avoid giving a plot summary.
  • Write in complete sentences.
  • Write coherent and well-developed paragraphs.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
Expository Literary Essay Plan

Expository Literary Essay Plan

Critical Response Rubric

Critical Response Rubric

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2015 ELA 20-1 Final Exam: Moral Conflict

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
– Edwin Markham

DIRECTIONS: Write a well-organized composition on the topic below.

Often in literature, a major character faces a conflict between his or her moral principles and society’s conventions (rules of conduct or behavior). The character must choose between doing what he or she thinks is right or conforming to the demands of society.

Select a character from “Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding, who faces a conflict between personal morality and society’s conventions. Identify the character. Using specific references from the work, explain the nature of the character’s conflict, the struggle of this character to resolve the conflict, and the overall effect of this conflict on the work.

As you write your composition, remember to:

  • Give the title and the author of the work.
  • Focus on a character who faces a conflict between personal morality and society’s conventions.
  • Give specific examples, reasons, and details from the work to explain the nature of this conflict, the character’s struggle to resolve it, and its overall effect on the work.
  • Give any necessary plot information but avoid giving a plot summary.
  • Write in complete sentences.
  • Write coherent and well-developed paragraphs.
  • Use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.
Expository Literary Essay Plan

Expository Literary Essay Plan

Critical Response Rubric

Critical Response Rubric

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Macbeth: After Act 5 Personal Response

Examine one of the following topics and write a narrative or personal essay:

  • Kingship (Consider the four Kings in the play: Duncan, Macbeth, Edward, Malcolm)
  • Ambition (Consider the ambitions of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth)
  • Guilt (Consider Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s response to guilt – and/or the Macduffs)
  • Order (Consider nature, politics, relationships, and how order is restored)
  • Deceptive Appearances
  • Fathers and Sons
  • Sleep
  • Loyalty and Patriotism
  • The Ideal Marriage

 

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Macbeth: After Act 3 Personal Response

Respond to one of the following prompts:

  • Sometimes we feel so angry or frustrated, so helpless or desperate that we lose all caution and restraint. Describe such an experience of your own or of someone you know.
  • If you had to choose between loyalty to your family and loyalty to your country, what decision would you make?
  • In your opinion, which qualities are essential in a political leader? Which qualities are unacceptable?
  • What kind of behaviour have you observed in children who are trying to conceal guilt? How do you conceal your guilty conscience?
  • Have you ever felt that everyone you know has turned against you? What were the circumstances? How did you deal with the situation?
  • Describe a situation in which you felt trapped. How did you behave?
  • Is revenge ever justified? Recall an incident in which you decided either to take revenge or that revenge would not be justified.
  • If your country had experienced great turmoil, how would you, as its leader, begin restoration?
Personal Response Rubric

Personal Response Rubric

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Macbeth: After Act 2 Personal Response

Respond to one of the following prompts:

  • Most of us have been afraid of the dark at one time or another. Think of a time when you or someone you know felt frightened in the dark. Describe the experience, explaining how the person dealt with the terror.
  • Think of an action you took and then immediately regretted taking. Why did you regret it? What did you do to make up for your mistake?
  • Have you ever received an emotional shock? How did you behave immediately afterwards? In what ways did your reaction to the shock change over time?
  • When do natural events seem unnatural? Write about a freakish natural event you have experienced or read about. How did it make you feel?
  • Sometimes the failure to speak or act when others expect us to reveal what we know is referred to as a “sin of omission.” Describe a situation in which you were tempted to commit the “sin of omission” or in which you actually did refrain from revealing what you knew. Would you do so again?
  • Sometimes, achieving a goal we have longed for does not make us feel as happy as we expected. Why do you think this is so? Share your ideas.
  • Have you ever known or read about someone who was distrustful of everybody and everything, regardless of the circumstances or evidence? Why was this person so suspicious? What effect did this attitude have on others?
  • Describe the most frightening experience you ever had. What was the cause of your fear?
  • Think of someone you know or have heard about who did something foolish because he or she was “over-confident.” Why is confidence an advantage and over-confidence a disadvantage?
  • Suppose you lived in an undemocratic country. How would you express your discontent with someone in authority?
Personal Response Rubric

Personal Response Rubric

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ELA 30-1 Diploma Suggested Reading List

from: http://education.alberta.ca/media/1325271/03_ela30-1_studentguide_2014-2015.pdf

The following is a compilation of literary texts that students have discussed on diploma examinations. If you are not in a classroom setting or wish to broaden your range of choices, you may want to study one or more selections from each of the categories on this list. This list is not prescriptive. Choosing literature from this list does not guarantee success. You may choose from this list or from other appropriate literary sources, including film. You will find previous experience with a variety of texts valuable in your preparation for writing the Critical/Analytical Response to Literary Texts Assignment and essential to your preparation for the reading comprehension required of you in Part B of the diploma examination.

Many of the short stories, poems, and drama selections in the following list are available in anthologies. These and other helpful resources are available through many public and school libraries.

Short Stories
“A & P”–Updike
“The Boat”-MacLeod
“Boys and Girls”–Munro
“Cathedral”–Carver
“Celebration”–Valgardson
“Dancing Bear”–Vanderhaege
“The Destructors”–Greene
“The Glass Roses”–Nowlan
“The Guest”–Camus
“Horses of the Night”–Laurence
“I Stand Here Ironing”–Olsen
“The Lost Salt Gift of Blood”–MacLeod
“Miss Brill”–Mansfield
“On the Rainy River”–O’Brien
“The Painted Door”–Ross
“Paul’s Case”–Cather
“The Rocking-Horse Winner”–Lawrence
“The Shining Houses”–Munro
“Sonny’s Blues”–Baldwin
“The Spaces Between Stars”–Kothari
“To Set Our House in Order”–Laurence
“Touching Bottom”–Strutt
“The Wall”–Sartre
“The Yellow Wallpaper”–Perkins

Drama
All My Sons–Miller
Bethune–Langley
The Crucible–Miller
Death of a Salesman–Miller
A Doll’s House–Ibsen
The Drawer Boy–Healey
The Glass Menagerie–Williams
A Man for All Seasons–Bolt
Oedipus Rex–Sophocles
Man of La Mancha–Wasserman
Medea–Euripedes
A Raisin in the Sun–Hansberry
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead–Stoppard
A Streetcar Named Desire–Williams

Nonfiction
Apollo 13–Lovell and Kluger
The Glass Castle–Walls
Into the Wild–Krakauer
Into Thin Air–Krakauer
A Long Way Gone–Beah
Night–Wiesel
On Running Away–Keats
Tuesdays with Morrie–Albom
Oscar Peterson: The Will to Swing–Lees

Full–length Fiction
1984–Orwell
The Ash Garden–Bock
The Bean Trees–Kingsolver
The Cellist of Sarajevo–Galloway
Crime and Punishment–Dostoevsky
Crow Lake–Lawson
Fifth Business–Davies
The Grapes of Wrath–Steinbeck
Great Expectations–Dickens
The Great Gatsby–Fitzgerald
The Handmaid’s Tale–Atwood
Heart of Darkness–Conrad
The Hero’s Walk–Badami
The Kite Runner–Hosseini
House of the Spirits–Allende
The Lovely Bones–Sebold
Life of Pi–Martel
The Metamorphosis–Kafka
Monsignor Quixote–Greene
The Mosquito Coast–Theroux
My Name is Asher Lev–Potok
No Great Mischief–MacLeod
Obasan–Kogawa
The Outsider–Camus
The Poisonwood Bible–Kingsolver
Pride and Prejudice–Austen
Snow Falling on Cedars–Guterson
The Stone Angel–Laurence
The Stone Carvers–Urquhart
Things Fall Apart–Achebe
Truth and Bright Water–King
The Wars–Findley
Wild Geese–Ostenso
Windflower–Roy
Wuthering Heights–Brontë

Poetry
My Last Dutchess–Browning
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock–Eliot
Ulysses–Tennyson

Shakespearean Plays
Hamlet
King Lear
Othello
The Tempest

Film
Not all films studied in Grade 12 are effective choices for diploma examination purposes. Ensure that your choice is one that you have studied in detail and know well. The list below contains both original film presentations and adaptations of written literary works. If you are using the film version of a written text, indicate this choice clearly on the Initial Planning page.
American Beauty
A Beautiful Mind
Big Fish
Billy Elliot
Children of Men
Chocolat
Dead Poets Society
The Godfather
Gran Torino
Lars and the Real Girl
Life is Beautiful
Memento
Million Dollar Baby
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The Pianist
Pleasantville
Schindler’s List
The Shawshank Redemption
Stranger than Fiction
The Truman Show

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So I have been thinking about technology … and invisible gorillas

At some point in this post I wanted you to watch a video demonstrations called simply, “The Monkey Business Illusion.” But instead of risking you scrolling down, playing right away, and missing whatever else I’ve written between here and there, let’s get the video out of the way now. But come back and read what I have written after the video plays.

One of my students brought “The Monkey Business Illusion” video to my attention during a discussion of the materialist philosopher, Democritus. How did we get to talking about gorillas? I’m not certain, but that we were talking about how our perceptions of nature – not just the little things, but the big things too – can be tricked. Until our attention is focused on a particular change or transformation, we do not see it occurring. If we are only looking for the material causes in nature, we will find them, but our perceptions will be limited by our attention span. Just as in the video, we miss not only the altering of little details, but huge events are occurring and we simply miss them – yet they are right there, like the invisible gorilla – mocking us when we discover our foolishness in not noticing changes the first time around.

Now, at almost the same time I was typing up a couple creative writing ideas on the topic of technology when another student came to to tell me about her Dad and an email “faux pas“. Her dad had almost sent an email without spell-checking it and to his chagrin discovered he came close to sending out a message to his staff in which he had a “u” where he should have had “you”. We both agreed that in the “old days” before email/texting, a handwritten or typewritten memo would have never contained such a trivial but monumentally embarrassing typo. But the “u” was there, he had typed it and it bothered him when he saw it – like the invisible gorilla – mocking him.

So, here are the topics I have been thinking about when I put these ideas into collision:

  1. Read and write a response to The Chimney Sweeper
  2. Write a response to any other prompt I have on technology

Whatever topic you write about please take some time to address the following question as well: Is technology making us more perceptive of the world around us or is it just getting in the way of seeing the things that matter most?

Piano Mirror Illusion by Shigeo Fukuda

Piano Mirror Illusion by Shigeo Fukuda

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ELA 20 Short Story Unit

Short Story Unit

Part 1:

Read “An Ounce of Cure” and “The Quiet One”

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/category/an-ounce-of-cure

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/category/the-quiet-one

 

Formative:

Complete each of the following “Exploring the Text” responses.

(20-1 + 20-2) http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/exploring-the-text

(20-1) http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2014/09/07/exploring-the-text-10

 

Summative:

Post/print and hand in both of the following:

(20-1 + 20-2) Personal Response (pick one)

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/personal-response

(20-1) Critical Response (pick one)

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2014/09/03/an-ounce-of-cure-and-the-quiet-one-essay

 

Part 2

Read “The Tower,” “The Sea Devil,” and “The Hobby”

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/category/the-tower

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/category/the-sea-devil

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/category/the-hobby

 

Formative:

Complete each of the following “Exploring the Text” responses.

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/exploring-the-text-6

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/exploring-the-text-5

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/exploring-the-text-8

 

Summative:

(20-2) Personal Response (pick one)

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/personal-response-5

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2014/09/24/personal-response-8

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/personal-response-6

 

(20-1) Critical Response (pick one)

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/the-hobby-and-the-sea-devil-essay-2

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/the-hobby-and-a-report-for-an-academy-essay

http://iblog.stjschool.org/moebius/2006/09/30/the-hobby-and-another-part-of-the-sky-essay

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