Meursault's Existentialism In The Stranger, By Albert Camus

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“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion” –Albert Camus (Albert Camus Quotes). Camus utilized this freedom in all aspects of life, namely in his relationships with women, which shaped him into an obsessive womanizer who engaged in multiple affairs. His distorted view of women was communicated in his novel, The Stranger, through Meursault, a particularly emotionless main character with similar thoughts on love. Both Meursault and Camus were Existentialists at heart, for they only found value in the physical world and believed that the universe was irrational. Meursault had few interactions with women, and those he had existed to serve his materialistic, sexual…show more content…
While recalling his Saturday beach adventure with Marie, Meursault included his thoughts on how he “wanted her so bad when [he] saw her in that pretty red-and-white striped dress,” and how he “could make out the shape of her firm breasts” (Camus 34). This was an insignificant detail that most would not include when summarizing their previous day. However, Meursault was unable to see past the surface and was most interested in the physical world. His Existentialist perspective caused him to objectify women and disregard their personalities. Meursault never commented on Marie’s attractive emotional habits, as could be seen once more during his trial. When she entered the courtroom, Camus wrote that “she had put on a hat and she was still beautiful,” but that Meursault “liked her better with her hair loose” (Camus 93). He had not seen her in months, and his first thoughts once seeing her were on her physical attributes. Perhaps even more intriguing was Meursault’s quick judgement on Marie’s changed hairstyle. Further, he never mentioned missing Marie’s company in prison. He remembered being “tormented by [his] desire for a woman” and wished that his “cell would be filled with their faces and crowded with [his] desires,” but never thought “specifically of Marie” (Camus 77). Meursault valued lust over love and thought that women served the sole purpose of fulfilling his sexual

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