The Outsider Character Analysis

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Throughout Camus’ famous novel, The Outsider revolves around the main character, Meursault, who is very distant and quite uninterested in common elements of life like work, love, or friendship. Furthermore, he is a man that sees the hypocrisy of life and has trouble accepting the common explanations for our daily social lives. From the looks of it, Meursault seems to suffer from anomie, which is a French translation for normlessness. A term coined initially by Emile Durkheim, anomie is a condition that affects individuals or societies that creates instability, which results from a dismantling of values and standards or from a lack of ideals or purpose. However, regardless of this, The Outsider is considered by many to be one of Camus’ best…show more content…
As readers, we cannot help but wonder why this man is the way he is, and because of it, we have a desire to understand his motives for certain actions. Consequently, this book has become a classic between young teenage readers, because it sparks debates about his motives, as well as puts into question the legitimacy of our society’s rules. Indeed, it is teens that go through a miserable or rebellious face. Due to their rebellious nature, they question why things are done the way they are, and if they are not in agreement with them, they often seek to rebel against authority. Furthermore, as people, we have become one with our society. We are insiders and have accepted the norms and rules of it, because not only did we grow up in these societies, but also we have learned since youth that in order to live in harmony with others, it is best to follow a set of social rules. Meursault, however, never adapted. He never understood and was indifferent towards social elements like friendship, love, and work. In other words, paying tribute to the title, Meursault was an Outsider or a Stranger to the society in which he lived in. Because of the fact that he could not adapt to our social “rules” that we have created, not only was he rejected for it, but he was eventually killed for it. In other words, the society, in which he…show more content…
But why? It is because he does not “play the game”. He refuses to lie about his motives for doing things and eventually pays the ultimate price. However, “lying” does not necessarily mean what is not true. Sometimes it can mean saying more than the truth, and saying what the human emotions feel. We do this in our everyday lives, actually. It makes our lives easier. Sometimes we say things that are not completely true because it is the “right thing to say”, or it’s what is “socially expected to say.” With Meursault, however, what you see is what you get. He did not say or do things to be politically correct or to end up on good terms with anyone. He spoke his mind openly and did not care what others thought of it or the consequences that it could bring. For example, when asked to say that he regrets killing the Arab, Meursault responds by saying that he feels more annoyance than regret. In the end, however, Meursault ends up paying the ultimate price for not playing the game of doing what is socially expected of
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