The Stranger Character Analysis

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The Stranger by Albert Camus follows the daily life of Meursault, a French-Algerian that embodies Camus’ philosophical views of absurdum. Meursault’s life is a simple one; at first glance, he is like any other working, middle class man. However, through the first person narration, we gain insight into his unconventional thought process. He does not place value on anything, including, possessions, love and ambition. Nevertheless, he is content with his life. Meursault also strays from the morals society has imposed; he does not see a difference between bad and good; he merely observes without judging. However, when Meursault kills an Arab, he is brutally judged for the aspects that make him unique. In the second part of the novel, as the trial …show more content…

Meursault notices that during the trial, “there was a lot said about [him], maybe more about [him] than about [his] crime” (98). By having Meursault 's personality be the focal point of the courtroom 's dialogue, Camus implies that Meursault 's persona plays a crucial role in his trial. Instead of focusing on the murder of the Arab, the prosecutor repeatedly mentions Meursault 's "dubious liaison"(94), his "insensitivity" (99) during Maman’s funeral, and his friendship with Raymond, who is a man "of doubtful morality" (99). Through the emphasis on Meursault 's -according to society- 'immoral ' ways, the prosecutor eliminates any sort of sympathy the jury has for Meursault. Following Marie 's testimony, the prosecutor once again exhibits his confidence that bias against Meursault will stem from hearing about his behaviour. Marie testifies that the day after Maman 's death, she and Meursault went swimming and watched a comedic movie. Rather than explaining what these events have to do with Meursault 's crime, the prosecutor has "nothing further to say" (94). Although the relationship between Meursault 's day out with Marie and his crime is non-existent, the prosecutor believes it is self-explanatory. Indeed, once the courtroom hears Marie 's testimony, it …show more content…

Through a variety of literary devices, Camus proves how the jury 's racial bias, lack of objectivity, desire for an explanation and fear of people who are different, results in a flawed justice system. The judicial system is supposed to be objective, and yet the people within it, are not. Whether consciously or not, we are constantly influenced by our prejudices, our emotions, and our values. As seen in Meursault 's case, the absence of neutrality in the jury can lead to an unfair conviction. The jury, like Meursault 's lawyer, does not understand Meursault and "hold[s] it against [him]" (66). Their inability to connect with him stems from Meursault 's distinctive behaviour that is not influenced by society. This individualism instils dread in the jury. According to society, an individual such as Meursault, who is authentic and not shaped by society, has no place on Earth. And so, because it is a jury, filled with biased humans, that convicts the defendant, there is injustice in the justice system. As a result of the fallibility of the court of law,

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