The Conciliation – Dutterau

The Concilation – Benjamin Dutterau – 1840

When examining the Dutterau’s painting consider the following

• How does the title of Dutterau’s panting reflect his perspective of events in Tasmania and of George Robinson.
The dictionary defines conciliation as: Action taken to reach agreement or restore trust, friendship, or goodwill that has been lost, especially as a deliberate process used in a dispute.

• The painting depicts the British colonialists attitudes and the values of the time (1840). The central figure is George Robinson. How does the use of colour and positioning suggest Dutterau’s admiration of him?
Euro centric: focusing on Europe or its people, institutions, cultures, sometimes in an arrogant way
• What other evidence in the painting suggests a Euro centric focus: the colonist belief in white mans supremacy and their view of the aboriginal people as a primitive people.
• What do the gestures of the individual aboriginals in the painting suggest about their attitudes towards conciliation?
• After studying this painting what thoughts does it give you about the calls nowadays for “reconciliation” with the aboriginal people?
Connotation: to imply or suggest something in addition to the main or literal meaning.
• What are the connotations of this term?


Why do you think our society values the study of literature?
What should we, as learners, have to do in order to be better at reading, writing, and communicating?
How did this text challenge or confirm your individual beliefs about how the world works?
Do you think critical readings help develop our own interpretation or “reading” of the text?
How does your context influence your interpretation of the text?
What effect did the text have on you? Did you hate it, love it or feel unmoved by it?
Decribe the aspects of this unit you enjoyed?
Was there a particular task that you enjoyed writing?
How has this unit improved your skills in English?

Popular cultural study questions

A. In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Explain how the violence in The Outsider contributes to the meaning of the complete work. Avoid plot summary.

B. The conflict created when the will of an individual opposes the will of the majority is the recurring theme of many novels. Analyze the conflict of an individual who is in opposition to his society in The Outsider and discuss the moral and ethical implications for both the individual and the society. Do not summarize the plot or action.


Check out the Camus Quotes page on the wiki.
Which of these quotes helps us to better understand The Outsider?
You can use quotes in your writing to illustrate the composer’s aim (authorial purpose) and help flesh out your own interpretation.
Quotes are often a useful way to begin an essay or speech, you may want do this in your assessment task (speech)

Power and interest

What knowledge does the reader/viewer need to bring to this text in order to understand it?
Whose views are excluded or privileged in the text?
Who is allowed to speak?
Who is quoted?
Why is the text written the way it is?

Philosophy of the absurd

In his jail cell, Meursault finds an old newspaper article about a Czechoslovakian man who is murdered by his mother and sister. How does this article relate to Meursault’s own trial for murder? How does this article expand the themes in The Outsider? (Make sure you are specific about what these themes are) How does it support Camus’s philosophy of the absurd? (Demonstrate your understanding of the philosophy of the absurd and how this episode in the text is related to it).
(Minimum 300 words)

The Outsider in film

This is a short film adaptation of The Outsider posted on YouTube.

What do you think about it?
Does it capture Camus’ mood and major themes expressed in the text?
Camus’ central idea was that everything happens purely by chance and that we cannot know the reasons why events occur. This is seen in the scene at the beach. There is no reason for Mersault’s action other than the heat of the sun…
How well does this film capture the absurdist viewpoint?
Is it possible to present Mersault’s journey in film or does the introspective nature of the first person narrative make this impossible? Give reasons.

Extended response

Analyze the passages describing Meursault’s walk down the beach before he kills the Arab. How does Camus build tension in the passage? How is it different from the passages preceding it? Meursault says at his trial that he killed the Arab because of the sun. Is this explanation at all valid?
Minimum 500 words.