Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Karen Levy

Committee Members

Paul Barrett, Jacqueline Elliott


It is not without apprehension that I approach the work of two of the greatest writers of our century, Nikos Kazantzakis and Albert Camus. I chose these two writers as the subject of my thesis because I was deeply moved by their never-ending struggle to achieve happiness in their terrestrial existence. To me these two figures, who tried to reach the unreachable, to bear witness to the anguished cry of man, to defy God and become free.

The purpose of this thesis is to follow Kazantzakis and Camus on their road to freedom, in a world without a master. We shall see how two individualists -- two strangers, defeated despair, conquered fear and hope, suffered in searching for the truth, became free and ascended, reaching the summit of their duty.

Odysseus, Alexis Zorbas, Captain Michales, Sisyphus, Meursault and Dr. Rieux will be the focus of this study because they reflect the deepest needs of the two authors, they express their very soul, and they finally reach the ultimate conclusion: that the duty of man is to find a meaning in his life, to struggle to conquer fear and hope, to put death in chains and become the master of himself.

In this study we shall also see how Nature, and especially the striking Mediterranean landscape with its mystic archipelago, have influenced the heart and the spirit of both men in the most sensuous manner. Earth, sky and man become one in a divine rhythm, in what both Kazantzakis and Camus call harmony.

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