Meursault's Absurd In Literature

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As the French Algerian philosopher Albert Camus once passionately stated, “This world in itself is not reasonable, that is all that can be said. But what is absurd is the confrontation of this irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart.” Camus is an outstanding author and philosopher, who emphatically advocated the philosophy of absurdism. According to Camus, absurdism is the belief that humans live in an irrational, meaningless universe, which deems the search for explanations as futile. Many individuals have the tendency to ask questions about nearly everything and expect a reasonable answer in response. However, in his literature, the acclaimed philosopher often covertly implies the lack of meaning or…show more content…
The prosecutor, the examining magistrate, and Meursault’s own lawyer were curious and confused, for they did not know Meursault’s motives or his justification for his actions. The magistrate, with a puzzled expression on his face, asked Meursault, “‘But why, why did you go on firing at a prostrate man?’ Again I found nothing to reply” (Camus 42). In order to solve the case and fairly sentence Meursault to the punishment he deserves, the authorities were eager to discover why Meursault has done such an unscrupulous thing. Camus’ use of repetition within the magistrate’s question emphasizes the yearn for a reasonable explanation for Meursault’s actions. Many, if not all, of the questions the magistrate and the prosecutor direct towards Meursault during the trial began with the word “why” and the conclusions made simply attempts to establish a sense of rationality in a world that is truly irrational. The word ‘again’ shows that, no matter how many times Meursault makes it evident that he has no answer to their questions, the authorities still try to force…show more content…
Most of the questions were left unanswered by Meursault, but the magistrate continued to attempt to obtain answers from the criminal. All of a sudden, topic of religion emerges and the magistrate asks Meursault if he believes in God, to which Meursault responds with a curt answer of a simply “no.” Meursault recollects, “That was unthinkable, he said; all men believe in God, even those who reject Him… ‘Do you wish,’ he asked indignantly, ‘my life to have no meaning?’” (Camus 42). The connotation of the magistrate’s question presents his exasperated reaction to Meursault’s shocking disbelief in God. By questioning Meursault about his own life’s meaning, the examining magistrate is implying that God is the source of rationality and meaning, so without God, one’s existence is meaningless. The word ‘unthinkable’ shows that it is unheard of and quite offensive for one to reject the existence of God, for rejecting God is like rejecting one’s own existence. It is widely known that God is the “creator” of all mankind, so God has put humans on earth with a purpose. However, Meursault denies the thought of life having true purpose. Camus, through the examining magistrate and the popular belief in God, demonstrates that individuals use God as a rational explanation for life and for human existence. By making Meursault an indifferent, atheist character, Camus is exposing
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