The Question of Evil from Voltaire to Camus (History/Literature Elective; US)

Mari Foret

May also be taken for a credit in world languages

Students explore how French literature represents and makes sense of the manifestation of evil in the modern world. From Candide’s satirical treatment of theodicy and optimism to The Plague’s absurdist yet hopeful approach, students examine the many facets of evil, how they face it, and its sources. Students also explore in detail the historical events that frame their readings, with a particular emphasis on the impact those events have had on the arts and philosophy. This class is conducted entirely in French.


Voltaire, Candide

Maupassant, Le Horla

Sartre, Huis-Clos

Anouilh, Antigone

Ionesco, La leçon

Vian, Les fournis

Sain-Exupéry, Le Petit-Prince

Summer Reading:

Camus, La Peste

  • Humanities/Language Arts

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