Nihilism In The Stranger By Albert Camus

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In The Stranger by Albert Camus: the protagonist, Meursault, appears to be indifferent to everything throughout the book. Even on fundamentally important concepts such as death, love, and time. Because to Meursault, “we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how doesn’t matter (2.5.114).” This general lack of interest is similar to the Universe because if the grand scheme of things, our lives, and our deaths mean nothing and would have no real impact on the future of the Universe. Our deaths turn meaningless over time, eventually love will fade away, and time will blur together to the point that 100 years will seem like a millisecond. And this is the embodiment of Nihilism. The thought and process of dying and having the death of a …show more content…

No matter the strong pull of love though, Meursault escapes its grasps though his lack of empathy and basic human connections. This ideology is shared by those around Meursault: such as how Salamano lost his wife and “He hadn’t been happy with his wife, but he’d pretty much gotten used to her (1.5.44).” Meursault knows that love is only temporary and knows that love means nothing in life and cannot change anything: “That evening Marie came by to see me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said it didn’t make any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to (1.5.44).” He does accept that love is something tangible but understands that there is no significance to it, how it has no reason, and is not required for living. So, therefore, why should he care about this emotion if it serves no evolutionary purpose to help us thrive and grow in the universe? Like Meursault, the Universe is unforgiving and ignores feeling to continue the circle of …show more content…

Meursault knows that we have no impact on the future of the Universe as he knows that “Nothing, nothing mattered (2.4.121).” For time is always continuing where we do not, and this thought can affect people to their cores and “The utter pointlessness of whatever I was doing there seized me by the throat (2.4.105)” however Meursault decides to no longer carry the burden of having to prove his existence in time. Like water off a duck’s back, the desire to prove himself washes off and he is able to be comfortable with the fact that nothing truly matters overall, but in this specific time it may matter. He may think about “...when I had to give up my studies I learned very quickly that none of it really mattered (5.41)” and may have been concerned at first but knew this meant nothing and his Nihilistic ideas took over once again. To Meursault “It was all the same (2.5.120)” and just like how everything is similar in the Universe so the Universe and Meursault mirror each other in their thoughts about how in this current moment in time, something will mean end up meaning

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