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Language A1 English EE

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Hi, my current topic for EE in English is - Absurdity in The Stranger by Albert Camus and Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

The focus will be on how the existentialism of the protagonists are amplified through absurdity.

Is this how I should phrase the research question? -

How is existentialism explored through the theme of absurdity in The Stranger and....

I am also having trouble structuring my essay. Any advice?

Thank you! :)

Edited by veelzh

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Ummm...Normally I get very excited when I hear someone thinking about using absurdity in their English EEs, I did it and it will always remain one of my favourite pieces of writing/essays. But, Absurdity is something you apply with theatre, it is generally called, "The Movement of Theatrical Absurdity." While I can understand how the existentialist overtones in The Metamorphosis and undertones in The Stranger can inspire a certain kink of absurdism, the very essence of the Absurd is embedded within theatrical performances.

Dialogue, language, stage direction, action, nonsense, and craze characterise absurdity. Man is insane, but perhaps not incurably so; the world is out of harmony - and all appears crooked when straight; and straight when slanted; and slanted when non-existent.

Novels and novellas can never live up to this element of absurdity because they lack the fundamental qualities of the complete absurdist package, so to speak.

For your topic I would instead focus on the idea of existentialism and how it applies to your novels.

But if I were in your place, I would never pick these books to begin with. They're both so IB! I feel like these books are World Lit ones and since I was forced to read them so thoroughly for the World Lit, I am just trying to make life easier by writing an EE on them which is an extended version of my WL1. But that's just me. I would instead go for a different book altogether, something as un-IB as it can possibly get but still has some uniqueness and literary merit. Something weird, off-beat, something that I wouldn't do in the IB and if I did do it in the IB, then I would never do it with the angle I used to write my EE.

The rest is up to you.

As far as structuring is concerned: I would read about absurdity (something I think you really, really need to do because I'm sure the more you read, the more you will find that Absurdity is traditionally and universally accepted as theatrical not prosaic). Once you've read all around the topic, seen what some great literary scholars and some relatively obscure ones as well have had to say, I would then start to write the EE, or even phrase the RQ for that matter.

Cheers,

Arrowhead.

Edited by Arrowhead

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Ummm...Normally I get very excited when I hear someone thinking about using absurdity in their English EEs, I did it and it will always remain one of my favourite pieces of writing/essays. But, Absurdity is something you apply with theatre, it is generally called, "The Movement of Theatrical Absurdity." While I can understand how the existentialist overtones in The Metamorphosis and undertones in The Stranger can inspire a certain kink of absurdism, the very essence of the Absurd is embedded within theatrical performances.

Dialogue, language, stage direction, action, nonsense, and craze characterise absurdity. Man is insane, but perhaps not incurably so; the world is out of harmony - and all appears crooked when straight; and straight when slanted; and slanted when non-existent.

Novels and novellas can never live up to this element of absurdity because they lack the fundamental qualities of the complete absurdist package, so to speak.

For your topic I would instead focus on the idea of existentialism and how it applies to your novels.

But if I were in your place, I would never pick these books to begin with. They're both so IB! I feel like these books are World Lit ones and since I was forced to read them so thoroughly for the World Lit, I am just trying to make life easier by writing an EE on them which is an extended version of my WL1. But that's just me. I would instead go for a different book altogether, something as un-IB as it can possibly get but still has some uniqueness and literary merit. Something weird, off-beat, something that I wouldn't do in the IB and if I did do it in the IB, then I would never do it with the angle I used to write my EE.

The rest is up to you.

As far as structuring is concerned: I would read about absurdity (something I think you really, really need to do because I'm sure the more you read, the more you will find that Absurdity is traditionally and universally accepted as theatrical not prosaic). Once you've read all around the topic, seen what some great literary scholars and some relatively obscure ones as well have had to say, I would then start to write the EE, or even phrase the RQ for that matter.

Cheers,

Arrowhead.

Thanks so much, Arrowhead. I don't know if you remember but you have helped me with my EE on Charles Dickens a month ago. I chose these two books over Dickens because Dickens was 1. too long to be analyzed properly in such a short time and 2. written in quite confusing British English.

I have read somewhere that writing on a topic that is exhausted/over analyzed will not get me a good score, and so I chose to focus on absurdity and it's effects on existentialism instead of just existentialism alone. But it seems now that I will have to change the whole thing again :(

Wow, I never thought any books would be too "IB"..what does too "IB" mean, actually? :/ Could you recommend some that don't fall into that category?

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You read right, repeated books and topics can be rather cumbersome because you will constantly be compared to the awesome EEs that have been written using the same books/topics. Both The Metamorphosis and The Stranger are such common IB World Literature books, I think almost everyone on this site alone will attest to have read at least one of them for their World Lits. At my IB school, The Metamorphosis was for HLs and SLs and The Stranger was for SLs only, so you can imagine how exhaustive these two are.

Dickens is awesome! You just need to give his writing more of a chance. Any good book is too long! That means that there is so much to analyse and you have the widest and most varied pick available to you to choose your quotes and evidence. If you find yourself unwilling to read then maybe an English EE is just not for you.

I read all of Shakespeare's plays in preparation for my EE because that was something I needed to do. I also sat and read a number of plays from Beckett, Ionesco, Dürrenmatt, and other prominent absurdist playwrights. The research phase is unavoidable.

But if you were to pick another book, then go online and see which books have recently won awards for good fiction writing and choose those. Pick them up and have a quick read, whichever one strikes your fancy the most, use it. Most people I know who've done English EEs generally did it on books that they really liked since forever. A really good fantasy series that could have an awesome EE on it would be Allison Croggon's The Pellinor Cycle or maybe even some Trudi Canavan (The Black Magician Trilogy NOT The Age of Five Trilogy) or even some Stephen King (The Dark Tower Series). Sorry, I've been on a bit of a fantasy spree. I would even encourage you to check out this book I've been reading recently from an Indian author Amish called Melluhah. It's awesome! Traditional hero quest et al.

Pick whatever you like, not what you think would sound good. I love Shakespeare and Theatrical absurdity. I've grown up being a lover of theatre and being a part of theatre plays and such. Writing my EE on it was a natural consequence for me. It should be an organic decision for you, not something you force yourself to choose and do because you think it might garner better marks.

Arrowhead.

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