Essay On Existentialism In The Stranger, By Albert Camus

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Albert Camus’ The Stranger embodies 1940s French Algeria as it depicts the result of existentialism within a French Christian society. Literature often highlights the values of a culture or society by using a character who is alienated because of creed. The protagonist, Meursault, is an existentialist judged as a pariah and detached from society due to his beliefs. Existentialists have no real meaning in their life and believe that they are free to make whatever decisions they want. Christians believe in God and that their life has a purpose which contrasts to existentialism. The disparity between Christianity and existentialism often leaves existentialists alienated from a Christian society such as Algiers, Algeria. Algiers’ moral values…show more content…
When Meursault returns from Marengo and his mother’s funeral it is the weekend. He dislikes Sundays because he has nothing to do which makes them boring. Consequently, he just observes people who “were in a hurry” from his balcony (21). At the end of the Sunday, it occurs to Meursault “that Maman was buried now, that [he] was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed” (24). He does not believe in God or go to church and is not really affected by his mother 's death which displays his separation from the people within the Christian society. After Meursault murders the Arab, a curious magistrate examines him about his reasoning. The magistrate tries to convert Meursault to Christianity by showing him a silver crucifix and telling him that God will forgive him if he repents. When the magistrate asks him if he believes in God, Meursault continually says that he does not. The magistrate then tells Meursault that he has “never seen a soul as hardened as [his]” (69). The magistrate cannot understand how Meursault does not believe that God suffered for his sins. This exchange demonstrates the difference between the values of society and
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