A Conversation about The Good Life

Script an imagined conversation between any two characters, from two different texts (“The Epic of Gilgamesh” and “The Plague” by Albert Camus). (They don’t have to be the main characters.) Don’t dwell too much on what brought these characters together across time and space (though I encourage you to find a clever premise). You can set the scene in a few introductory sentences, like the stage directions in a play. However, and wherever, they meet, they’ll end up talking. The subject is up to you. It should be one of the big questions of The Good Life, and of our lives. What’s discussed should reflect who these characters are, as we know them from the texts. Ask yourself: what would she or he say, based on what I’ve read? As you compose this dialogue, think in terms of the thesis behind it. Think of this as a comparison essay by other means— explored through conversation and character, as opposed to exposition and quotations. What big idea or question are you comparing in these two books? Your two characters will have an encounter, an exchange, that deepens our understanding of the themes explored in both works. Would they argue? Would they sympathize with each other? Would one’s experience benefit the other? This assignment has two parts: • the scripted dialogue with stage directions; and • an accompanying reflection For the dialogue, first set the scene and then get your characters talking, Alternate between speakers, as in the script of a play or film. Feel free to include asides as well. Some humor is fine, as long as you get to your point. At the end of your script, write a page-long reflection. Here, you should address the following questions: What’s my thesis? What central question or idea about living “the good life” does the encounter you staged and scripted explore? What, as you interpret them, were the main ideas about that question or idea in these two texts? What does the comparison of these two texts/characters help us to see? So what? What has putting these two texts in dialogue illuminated about each one? What would you like your reader or viewer or listener to ponder after experiencing your dialogue?

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