Category Archives: Thesis


“A Smile on a Tormented Face”: Absurdist Consciousness and Post-Reflective Identity in Camus’ L’Étranger

In a Tortoiseshell: This essay analyses the character of Meursault in Albert Camus’ L’Etranger (The Stranger), contextualizing him in the space of the novel as well as in a larger scholarly conversation. The author analyses a set of critical reviews, and motivates his argument by suggesting that there is something the critics are missing — a clear understanding of Sartre’s existentialism. The author posits the term “post-reflective” consciousness, and develops a thesis with this term to refine the scholarly criticism and propose his own interpretation of Meursault.

The thesis (and paper as a whole) involves complicated and philosophical literary criticism, and succeeds in clearly orienting the reader to the text, scholarship, and a very sophisticated argument. What is excerpted here are the first three pages of a twenty-page paper. Continue reading


“If you will only”: The Presence of Loneliness in “Song of Myself”

In a Tortoiseshell: In this series of excerpts, the author’s process of developing a thesis is foregrounded. Excerpts 1 and 2 are taken from the introduction and conclusion of the original essay submitted to us, and Excerpt 3 is a revised introduction. Each excerpt includes the essay’s thesis, and as the author reiterates it his argument becomes more and more refined, improving significantly over the course of writing and revision.  Continue reading