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l'etranger, camus

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French literature, essays, summary

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About this novel

French literature, resources, essays,summary

Resources have been written with the needs of busy teachers in mind. They are available:

  • to download (online version)
  • to receive on CD with access to the online version also
  • to receive as a VLE version (moodle, firefox etc) with access to the online version also

This short novel by Camus is easily the most popular to be studied in UK schools, combining as it does content which is open to interpretation of all kinds with very accessible language.   The first line of the novel "Maman est morte aujourd'hui" is certainly the best known start opening in French and it heralds one of the main issues.   Meursault, the narrator of the story,  is condemned more for his ambivalent attitude towards his mother at her funeral than he is for the  crime he commits at the end of the first half of the book.  

Camus portrays a young man, driven by his senses rather than any moral or religious code of behaviour.   Unable or unwilling to make ethical decisions just to keep up appearances Meursault, who likes nothing more than to be left in peace, is drawn into a social situation over which he has no control.  Drawn into a confrontational situation not of his own making, Meursault kills another man, an anonymous Arab and then has to face the consequences.

The second part of the novel demonstrates that the world is not such a free place as Meursault imagined as he confronts the social networks controlling society:  religion, the law and convention.   We begin to empathize as the Meursault, who is the narrator,  realizes to what extent he has proved himself to be inhuman, not by killing an unarmed native inhabitant of this country but by ostensibly lacking respect towards his mother


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French literature, summary, essays

French literature, resources, essays,summary

  • Full page by page vocabulary list (can be used on phone, tablet)
  • Detailed summary of text with verbs gapped (infinitives given)
  • Comprehensive questions on each chapter/scene
  • PowerPoint with visuals and sentence starters (not all texts)
  • Character study guide with wide range of adjectives

French literature, resources, essays,summary

  • Multi-tense practice tool
  • A-factor builds in practice of more complex structures
  • Direct-indirect speech exercise encourages reported speech

  • Matching quotations to themes to prepare for paragraphing
  • Essay planning guide including template
  • Essay plan and sample essay

French literature, essays, summary

Mark schemes are provided for:

  • the gapped summary
  • character guide
  • multi-tense exercise
  • A-factor
  • direct-indirect speech exercise
  • themes exercise

Answers are NOT given for the questions which are intended to elicit an individual response.

French literature, essays, summary

French literature, essays, summary

French literature, essays, summary

French literature, summary, essays

Cartoon version of book    Camus reads L'étranger