Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Romance Languages and Linguistics

Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors, Honors College

First Advisor

Joseph Acquisto

Second Advisor

Meaghan Emery

Third Advisor

Mary Lou Kete


grace, body, play, absurd, Camus


This essay explores the connections among the body, physical grace, and the absurd in two of Camus’ earliest essays, “Noces à Tipasa” [Nuptials at Tipasa] (1938) and Le Mythe de Sisyphe (The Myth of Sisyphus) (1942). This then leads into a discussion on “play,” which ties all three subjects together. Finally, these topics are explored in Camus’ novel La Peste [The Plague] (1947) to show how one might apply the findings of this essay to Camus’ fiction. To begin, the essay focuses on the foregrounding of the body in Camus’ two essays. It then shows how Camus’ emphasis on the body leads him to explore either the state of grace or the absurd. After this, it is shown that while grace and the absurd appear to be opposites, there is still the possibility for them to coexist. This is done in the realm of play. Here, the essay refers to the sociological understanding of play, which is developed and related to the absurd. Play is the primary way that one can become graceful, and following the absurd to its conclusion is equivalent to turning life into a game that one must play. In this way, being conscious of and loyal to the absurd turns life into a playing field where one may be in a state of grace.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.