World Lit Essay Example



In Camus’

The Stranger,

and Yoshimoto’s


both authors use the literarytechnique of pathetic fallacy – a branch of personification – which gives to the weather and physical world, human attributes. In both texts, this technique enriches the narratives bothaesthetically and in terms of meaning – by telling the inner emotions of the characters.However, while in


the pathetic fallacy is employed throughout the text, in


it takes centre stage only at the most crucial point in the book – with Meursault, the protagonist killing the Arab. This paper will examine the purpose of both authors in using the pathetic fallacy, and the significance each place on this technique.Yoshimoto places great emphasis on the pathetic fallacy, using it frequently. Thisfrequency is due largely to the cultural context of the story.


is based in Japan, where aculture of covert and coded language abounds in daily life and conversation; in a country wherethere are two social modes – ‘honne’, one’s true but generally hidden feelings, and ‘tatemae’,the feelings which one shows when in public and which literally means ‘facade’


.Thus, the pathetic fallacy is Yoshimoto’s way of augmenting the ‘honne’ moments of her protagonist,Mikage. In the weather and the elements we see reflected, Mikage’s deep and true emotions;emotions which a culture of facetious conversations has made difficult to convey, even inmoments of self conversation – the ‘honne’In Camus’

The Stranger,

the justification for the use of the pathetic fallacy lies, not inculture, as is in Yoshimoto’s


, but in characterization, Meursault being set up as theabsurd man. Meursault’s killing of the Arab is at a crossroads in definition: Is it a murder, andthus an ‘act,’ or is it merely an ‘event.’ The pathetic fallacy of the scene dissuades an ‘act’definition by incriminating “the sweat and sun” (Camus 59). Thus, Meursault is absolved of murder, and the killing of the Arab becomes just an “event.” If Meursault’s killing of the Arabis not premeditated, motivated, wilful, nor intended, then Meursault kills in a state of absurd


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  1. What are you supposed to write about in a world lit essay? I'm doing my essay on antigone but i'm not sure what i'm supposed to it meant to be an argument or..? please help, our teacher hasn't explained anything to us..

  2. Hi, found an example for you:

    Generally you tend to choose a theme within the book that you can base a question on.
    I believe mine was "How have the authors represented the struggle between freedom and imprisonment in ‘The Outsider’ and ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ ?"
    You could however create a statement and say to what extent that statement is true.
    It's not so much an argument as an analysis of an extract(s) of the book(s) with respect to your question. By this I mean you must pick one or more extracts and pick apart phrases within them, discussing the significance of the words the author has used and to what effect. Mention lots of literary features e.g. pathetic fallacy, irony, foreshadowing, personification etc. where relevant and correct. These are like buzzwords for whoever will be marking your paper, it shows you understand what literary features are, an important aspect of the course.
    E.g. 'the author uses the weather to convey a sense of confinement because the sun is used to highlight the barbed wire and prison bars...' (that's just a quick example, you need to quote and be specific, don't ever be vague).
    If you are struggling to come up with a question write down all of the central issues and themes within your book and see if that gives you some inspiration, for example, a common theme between the two books I studied was imprisonment and that's how I came up with my question.
    I hope this helps and isn't too confusing

  3. Please help me also. I need to write my World Lit on either " A Christmas Carol" or "Tamas".

    I am not sure of what to write or how to go about the essay.

    Please help me.!

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