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Topics in French Literature

Moral Ambiguity in The Fall, a Novel by Albert Camus
In a society full of diverse individuals, our moral compass is what creates our personas and sets each of us apart. From a religious standpoint, many believe that their God is what creates the principles that they live by and guides them on their “journey of life”. However, others seem to disregard these principles and port...
797 words
2 pages
Analyzing the Theory of Professor Pangloss in Candide, a Novel by Voltaire
Throughout Voltaire’s Candide, the character of Professor Pangloss’ assertion that humanity lives in “[the] best of worlds” is referenced multiple times, whether by Pangloss himself or by Candide in reference to Pangloss’ teachings (30). This optimistic claim, backed by Pangloss’ belief in sufficient reason and cause and ef...
346 words
1 page
The Courageous Character of Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, a Play by Edmond Rostand
In the tragedy/comedy Cyrano De Bergerac there are many crucial instances to the story where the main character, Cyrano, acts up in a way that everyone in his company clearly notices. Many of these moments are considered unconditionally courageous. However, are these moments truly courageous or is Cyrano just being an arrog...
616 words
2 pages
The Mythical Land of Eldorado in Candide, a Novel by Voltaire
Voltaire’s Eldorado by the Standards of More’s Utopia Everyone has heard the word “utopia.” It is often used in passing by idealistic characters as they reference a perfect but non-existent town or city, usually in contrast to the shoddy world that lends itself to the story’s setting. The story of Candide mimics this intro...
2,742 words
9 pages
The Progression of Meursault's Character in The Stranger, a Novel by Albert Camus
Meursault’s Progression Characters in novels often follow a self-identifying path. This path can lead to one of three outcomes: progression, regression, or stagnation, of character. Meursault, of The Stranger, by Albert Camus, progresses as a character, starting as apathetic about, and unaware of, the happenings of his lif...
1,237 words
4 pages
The Manipulation of Setting in Therese Raquin, a Novel by Emile Zola
Therese Raquin Essay Authors, to convey a certain message within a given scene, manipulate the setting. The setting of a given story can influence the mood of the scene, whether subtly or overtly. In Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin Zola used setting as a tool to intensify the effect of important scenes of the story. Notably, Z...
1,005 words
5 pages
The Theme of Hope in The Myth of Sisyphus, a Novel by Albert Camus
Sorrow and joy go hand in hand, as does Sisyphus, as he crowns himself in his defeat. The pendulum between night and day swings, for it is not possible to experience the light without the dark. That being said, there can be joy found in the struggle as you work towards your own purpose. On your journey, as you conclude how...
426 words
2 pages
Senegalese Stereotypes of Women in So Long a Letter, a Novel by Mariama Ba
Senegalese Stereotypes in So Long a Letter Mariama Bâ’s So Long a Letter depicts the life of a newly widowed Ramatoulaye who writes a letter to her childhood best friend Aissatou, describing her life as a co-wife and an oppressed woman in the Senegalese culture and tradition. By writing the novel in an epistolary form, the...
1,437 words
5 pages
Identity Theft in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables
In Victor Hugo’s famous novel, Les Misérables, multiple characters pretend to be other people, including the protagonist of the novel, Jean Valjean and other minor characters like Thénardier. Although it is now 2014, instead of the early 19th century, people nowadays still suffer from something really similar, it’s called i...
391 words
1 page
The Power of the Rich in Les Miserables, a Novel by Victor Hugo
Rich Have Power Over Poor In Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, the theme of the rich having power over the poor is very evident. The upper classes being able to buy goods for their families without being taxed caused conflict with the lower class. Ultimately, the French Revolution erupted. In Les Miserables, characters like J...
618 words
2 pages
A Review of Candide, a Novel by Voltaire
Beautiful people generally tend to form the strongest relationships with their selves. People who are conceited and look upon themselves as superior to others usually end up lonely. In this novel, many of the main characters who were originally seen as beautiful in the beginning of the novel, end up at the end being the one...
529 words
2 pages
The Completion of Puberty from the First Puff of Cigarette
Cigarettes “Koofff! Kofff! Kofff!!! It was awful. But this was not the moment to give in. With this first Cigarette, I kissed childhood goodbye. Now I was a grow-up.” (Satrapi, 117) Marjane states these words right after she completes puberty from a puff of a cigarette. In this powerful scene of Marjane's life, she sm...
584 words
2 pages
The Views of The Enlightenment in The Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, a Book by Marquis De Condorcet
The idea of living in a perfect world strikes an interest in just about anybody who comes across the thought. Imagine living in this world, having a light shed upon you and everyone around you that would open everyone’s eyes. Picture a revolution of sorts, changing the world for the better. There once was such a dream expla...
699 words
3 pages
An Analysis of the Passage by Madame De Sevigne
The Passage Analysis When facing a moral choice of any kind it's natural to have some inner conflict. It's easy to feel sympathy for the wicked. Why is it that some people with awful lives do amazing things and others break so we can all be cut by their shards of glass, some more deeply than others? We must ask ourselves...
817 words
3 pages
An Examination of the Different Kinds of Violence Against the Colonizers in the First Chapter of The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
Fanon spends this first chapter discussing different kinds of violence, one of these being the violence of the colonized against the colonizers. I was quite confused by this idea at first - and still cannot say that I am positive who each one of those groups are - but I am assuming the ‘colonized’ are like the ‘natives’ and...
533 words
2 pages
A Comprehensive Analysis of the Conflict in Art, a Play by Yasmina Reza
The Art of Friendship In everyone’s lives, there are times where decisions concerning friends must be made. How much money should be spent on a birthday present this year? Which friend is going to drive to the concert next week? Has the friendship drifted too far apart to continue? In Yasmina Reza’s “Art”, friendship is te...
1,620 words
6 pages
The Use of Redemption in Les Miserables, a Play by Victor Hugo
In Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, one of the great themes easily
identified is that man is capable of redemption. "From that moment on as we
have seen, he was a different man... It was more than a transformation---it
was a transfiguration" (220). In his novel, Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
does far more than write words that t...
1,186 words
4 pages
Character Analysis of Mercedes in the Count of Monte Cristo, a Novel by Alexandre Dumas
In The Count of Monte Cristo, we are introduced to Mercedes a young
Catalan beauty, who is engaged to Dantes. After Dantes' imprisonment and
supposed death, Mercedes marries her cousin and friend, Fernand. When she
discovers Dantes is still alive she continues to love him, but is faithful
in her marriage, unlike some other...
830 words
3 pages
The Dangers of Optimism in Candide, a Book by Voltaire
Voltaire’s work Candide is a satirical fiction, used to make light of the events, people, and world around the author at the time. The work addresses many things, such as the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, his own harsh critics, and many other important people during the time it was written. Through his work Candide, Voltaire p...
1,184 words
5 pages
Sarte's Criticism of Blind Conformity in the Play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco
“We are nothing and in action become conscious of that original nothingness.” -Jean-Paul Sartre Sartre, the philosophical spokesman for Existentialism in Paris during the rise of the Theatre of the Absurd, criticized one of the absurd play by Eugene Ionesco named Rhinoceros, which was written to depict the criticism of b...
1,285 words
4 pages
The Relationship between Meursault and Marie in The Stranger, a Novel by Albert Camus
The Even Stranger Relationship I realized that while reading any book it is very important to consider the viewpoints of every character. As Meursault's views were very uninteresting I found myself in the viewpoint of other characters more often. Specifically I found myself in the viewpoint of Marie very frequently, asking...
555 words
1 page
The Admirable Characteristics of Mersault in the Stranger, a Novel by Albert Camus
Billy Joel stated in his song The Stranger, “we all have a face that we hide away forever, and we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone,” and he was right, however this did not apply to the fictional character of Meursault in Camus’ book of the same name, The Stranger. This is what makes Meursault a hero....
350 words
1 page
Corruption and the Purpose of the Panopticon According to Foucault
In this particular section of the passage, Foucault begins discussing the implied corruption within this given society and how the Panopticon serves many purposes, all focused on controlling the knowledge of the people and making sure they are acting as those in power want them to. This system seems to have been perfected d...
1,082 words
3 pages
The Complexity of Panopticism by Michael Foucault
Assignment 1 Michael Foucault’s Panopticism is easily recognized as being one of the most complex works to English literature. It encompasses many multifaceted ideas and intertwines them by the end of the passage to one, throwing readers for a loop and often leaving them only more confused after reading it than before....
1,049 words
3 pages
The Manipulation of Orgon in the Play Tartuffe by Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere
In the play, Tartuffe, Orgon is swindled by the villainous Tartuffe, who manipulates Orgon into giving him his estate, wealth, and almost his daughter’s hand in marriage. Written by Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere, the work is an important piece of comedic work and, like Shakespeare, borrows ideas from commedia de’ll arte....
567 words
2 pages