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A Society In Danger Essay

1262 words - 5 pages

In the book The Stranger, Camus characterizes Meursault as an atheist, an unemotional robot, and an outcast to demonstrate how he threatens society. The way Camus characterizes Meursault impacts the book in views to which he threatens society, like when he seems useless, has no compassion or feelings, and when he does nothing to help society, making him seem like society’s worst enemy. How he characterizes Meursault proves how he becomes a threat to society through the use of syntax by displaying insensitivity, and diction to prove his atheism. He also only focuses on physical objects, and the way he sees life causing him to be a stranger. Meursault can be a threat to society by just not fitting in with everyone else and preventing everyone from being united, so he continues to be seen as a threat.
Camus manipulates syntax to show how Meursault’s insensitivity symbolizes danger to society. When Camus makes Meursault be an insensitive person that does not care or feel anything for anyone else, he puts society in danger. When Meursault says, “I had never been able to truly feel remorse for anything” he never reveals any emotion at all even though the sentence sounds a little long and he also never gives a sign of compassion (Camus 100). Also, the very first sentence that Meursault states in the book only contains three words, which reads, “Maman died today” (Camus 3). No matter how long or short the sentences are Meursault never shows a little bit of compassion or feelings for her mother’s death. He just states it all plain and unemotional with only three words almost making it a fragment. For example, when Camus writes this long sentence, “He said the truth was that I didn’t have a soul and that nothing human, not one of the moral principles that govern men’s hearts, was within my reach” he explains that Meursault does not have any feelings and will never be able to have a heart to which he can feel things (101). Throughout the whole long sentence, Camus keeps describing Meursault, but he always does it in a negative way which makes him look like an emotionless person that cannot bring any good to society, symbolizing danger.
Not only does Camus manipulate syntax, but he also employs diction to prove how Meursault’s atheism threatens the unity of society. Camus does a great job making Meursault an atheist to demonstrate how he threatens society. Meursault being an atheist keeps society from uniting as a whole because he does not fit in with everyone else. The magistrate questions Meursault by asking, ‘you do believe, don’t you, and you’re going to place your trust in Him aren’t you’ (Camus 69) and Meursault responds, “Obviously, I again said no” (Camus 69) proving that he has not only denied God once but several other times because he says “again” meaning he has done it more than once. His denial of God keeps society from uniting because everyone believes in God except him. Meursault’s atheism is so noticeable that he gets a nickname, ...

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