The Stranger is a novel written by Albert Camus and was published in 1942. It follows the story of Meursault, an indifferent French Algerian, and his actions leading to his eventual death. Camus, a French philosopher, author, and journalist most notably renowned for his philosophy of absurdism, distributes a recurring theme of existentialism and absurdism throughout the novel, and heavily does so in passages that serve the most significance to the story. One of the most important passages within the novel is when Meursault repeatedly defies the chaplain in the cell. It serves as a pinnacle for the entire story, and grants readers a look into the main characters state of mind. In this passage, Meursault comes to a dramatic realization of who he is through an existential epiphany, and with thorough analysis the overall significance of the passage to the story is revealed.
Throughout Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger the idea of existentialism and absurdity is portrayed through the life of main character Meursault. Through this first person narrative, we experience his viewpoint on life and the acceleration of its meaning
Meursault has an absurdist attitude toward his world inside of his mental and physical world. Meursault blames his rash actions on the world and environment. At Meursault’s trial, after he killed the Arab, he defended himself by saying, “it was because of the sun.” (Camus, 103) Meursault actually believed that the sun made him kill the Arab man. In The Stranger, the sun is the main antagonist. It vindictively attacked Meursault and caused him to act the way he did. Meursault claims that he didn’t intend on shooting him, but the sun blinded his thoughts and his ability to think and reason quickly and rationally. The environment parallels the Gods in the myth of Sisyphus. The Gods are stubborn, harsh, and irrational, just like the environment. Neither of them have good intentions for the protagonist, yet both protagonists eventually overcome them and absurdly prosper. Meursault’s external world has rational order, but the world inside of his head doesn’t have any order whatsoever. His external world contains his occupation and things that he does on a daily basis, which seem to be scheduled and orderly, but the world inside of his head is disarranged. With what appears to be a hectic life, Meursault doesn’t seem to realize, because a vast majority of his physical life is so scheduled. It is routine to him. But, his mental life is disorganized. Meursault constantly has varying thoughts dancing around his mind, one of which is the environment. The environment is behind all of Meursault’s struggles and problems in his mental world and interferes with his physical world as well, causing him to think that the world is irrational. Holden’s attitude toward the world is particularly similar to Meursault’s because nihilism and absurdism are quite similar. Both believe that the world is irrational and out to get them. The only difference between the two is that Meursault discovers that even though he believes that the world manipulated him and demanded to kill the
(A) What gives Meursault a sense of peace at the end of the novel? / At the end of the novel, Meursault accepts the idea of death and the fact that human life has to end eventually. This makes him come to term with his execution. (B) People think of Meursault as as a “social monster.” Do you agree with this statement? / I don’t think of Meursault is a social monster the same way the people in the book do. He’s a monster for killing someone and not feeling bad for it. He’s not a monster for not believing in God and caring more about the physical world instead of emotions. (C) Explain the absurd elements of Meursault 's trial. / It seems as if he is being judged for not feeling sad over his mother’s death instead of being judged for killing the Arab man. They are judging his character rather than his case. The judge should focus on his crime rather than how he acts. It was unfair for the judge to order his execution for not having the same feelings about the world as everyone else
Raymond and Meursault run into trouble with the Arab which is Raymond ex-girlfriends brother. Meursault describes the day being “The sun was the same as it had been the day I’d buried Maman, and like then, my forehead especially hurting me, all the veins in it throbbing under the skin” (59). He brings his mother’s death and funeral up when talking about the sun. Meursault ends up shooting the Arab four times. “I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of the beach where I’d been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness” (59). Meursault has no remorse, he does not feel guilty for what he did. “I didn’t feel much remorse for what I’d done. That I had never been able to truly feel remorse for anything. My mind was always on what was coming next, today or tomorrow” (100). Meursault is a careless person he does not feel guilty for killing the Arab or being sad or guilty for Maman
The Stranger, written by Albert Camus, It follows the story of our tragic hero, Meursault, shortly after his mother dies through the events that lead to him being sentenced to death. Camus uses the motif of weather to express Meursault’s emotions. The Stranger shows how even when a person does not explicitly express emotion they are shown in some way. How emotions are expressed is a window to a person's personality. I will first discuss how Meursault appears emotionless, than how Camus uses the motif of weather to express Meursault’s emotions for him and lastly what impact this makes.
The battle for existence is what drives Meursault to connect more to the physical world. In The Stranger by Albert Camus, there’s a young, detached man named Meursault living in French Algiers. At the beginning of the novel, Meursault receives a telegram, which informs him of his mother’s death. He acts calm during and after the funeral and frolics around with his girlfriend, Marie. While on the beach with his friends, they are suddenly confronted by Arabs and get into a fight. This fight leads to Meursault going to a murder trial because he shoots one of the Arabs four times and kills him. Meursault shows importance of the physical world when he is at Maman’s funeral, while in a fight with the Arabs and when he is at his murder trial. Meaursault connects more to the physical world rather than to the
` A. Thesis: In his novel The Stranger, Camus uses motif of death and isolation to show his philosophical viewpoints which includes the theme of the universe being irrational and life being meaningless.
What if life contributed to no meaning and the only point which matters is the existence happening during the present? To make things worse, as humans live, they breath, but as they die a salvation is received to their soul, and their existence is over. The Stranger by Albert Camus illustrates that the human soul exists in the world physically, therefore the presence or absence does not contribute to any particular event in life. Through, this thought the novel introduces Meursault, who alienates himself from society. He lacks concern for social conventions and is deprived of the physical bounding from people around him. Through the use of diction and symbolism; Camus reveals Meursault’s is apathetic towards his bonding with others and unable
2. Summary: Meursault, a shipping clerk living in Algiers, receives news of his mother's death. After hearing about the death of his mother, he travels to the nursing home that that he put her in after no longer being able to financially provide for the both of them. Unlike the traditional response to death by grieving for the deceased, Meursault continues on with his daily tasks as if his mother had never died. During a trip with Raymond and Marie, Meursault shoots the Arab, the brother of the mistress that cheated on Raymond, and is imprisoned. Meursault is eventually convicted and sentenced to death because of his inability to conform to the societal expectations of French Algeria in the 1940’s.
In the novel, a majority of Meursault 's actions are based upon his attitude that his presence ultimately does not “matter”. “‘But,’ I reminded myself, ‘it’s common knowledge that life isn’t worth living, anyhow.’ And, on a wide view, I could see that it makes little difference whether one dies at the age of thirty or threescore and ten—since, in either case, other men and women will continue living, the world will go on as before,” (Camus 70-71). The aforestated quote captures the quintessence of Meursault’s character and illustrates the reason for his disinterest with the injustices around him. With purely factual considerations, it is true that each human life is proportionally negligible. Compared to the 7.4 billion people in the world, or the 250 billion stars in the sky, one life makes essentially no difference. No matter how altruistic the person, the probability that they will be remembered in 100 year, is slim to none. Thus, if no action will create any lasting impact, does my life really matter? As Linkin Park said, “Who cares if one more light goes out? In a sky of a million
The definition of a perfect life has changed drastically over time. In the 21st century, one is particularly obsessed with relationships, careers and the luxury of one 's homes. Aside from the lavishness, some may encounter issues with discovering themselves. Young people especially, struggle to understand their purpose, leaving them in mini personal crisis. Knowing one’s purpose allows one to live their lives accordingly. Those who don’t know their purpose may feel that their daily lives are ridiculous. Camus’ The Stranger, portrays an inexplicably nonsensical character, Meursault, who winds up in a unanticipated situation. Similar to real life struggles, the character perpetually repeats insignificant actions not accordant to any essence.
Meursault is an insignificant man living an insignificant life, with no purpose other than to come to peace with his insignificance and thus remove its power over him. He expresses little emotion even when faced with intensely emotional situations. In The Stranger, Albert Camus details a part of Meursault’s life, which, though short, is filled with drastic life events. We see his mother die, his girlfriend fall in love with him, his neighbor threatened and attacked, his own murder of his neighbors attackers, and eventually his conviction and death sentence. Yet in all these events, Meursault remains aloof and ambivalent, with little to no reaction at all. Eventually, before his presumed death sentence, Meursault decides that since life is meaningless
Existentialism questions human existence; Camus wondered if there was any meaning or purpose to living a human life. These beliefs are reflected in his famous novel The Stranger, written in 1942, through its protagonist Meursault. Meursault is an outcast who does not show much emotion to the world around him. Although Meursault’s actions and emotions give off clear evidence that he may have existential principles, the physical environments in which the story takes place contribute to showing Meursault’s thoughts on reality. The Stranger emphasizes the thoughts and beliefs of Meursault through its settings of his home, his average neighborhood, and the
He wakes up, occupies his time in a café nearby and his apartment. Friends visit, and they leave. The next day he gets up again, eats, goes to work, comes back home, and sleeps. This routine day by day. However, many can refer to this lifestyle, nevertheless most of us have goals, purposes, and significance in life. On the other hand, Meursault is different, he is portrayed as someone who fills his days with basic redirections while decimating all importance and significance of each action. He does not seek for purpose and meaning in actions he takes, since these concepts are unfamiliar to him. He does not have a reason for choosing something, over something else. He does not engage sentiments or thoughts that many people appreciate, enjoy and gladden. This character describes best the idea of the Absurd. “Humans cannot avoid wondering about life, and its meaning, since that is how we are. However Camus says that, there is no answer for this question. In between the question, Camus states, does life have a meaning, and the answer is silence, it lies The Absurd. It is something so strange and so bizarre that it defies that definition.”(Class notes Nov.2016)….. Meursault uses simplistic, and casual dialogue from the beginning of novella, therefore he does not reflect any vantage, does not contemplate about religion, soul, or the universe. Albert Camus presents to the reader a character with day by day