Alan’s And Mersault’s Perceived Personal Realities In Equus And The Stranger

1184 words - 5 pages

Through psychological realism in Equus and The Stranger, Peter Shaffer and Albert Camus alienate both characters to show the power of religion through their perceived personal realities.
Through the setting, Shaffer emphasizes Alan’s accepted reality. Worshipping a horse in your room seems very insane to most people, but to Alan it changes his life. This quote needs to be incorporated. “I look through the door, and he was standing in the moonlight in his pajamas, right in front of that big photograph….then suddenly he knelt down….and he said ‘Behold – I give you Equus, my only begotten son’” (Shaffer 46). This point demonstrates that Alan is not part of the “normal” society but in his own world worshipping Equus, who he considers a god. The way that Alan bows in front of the poster represents his escape from society which shows his reliance on his god, Equus. He tries to stay away from the problems that society throws at him as a teenager, but as he continues through the night, his constant problems hit him in the face, interrupting his ideal reality with his god, Equus. This setting displays that at one point in Alan’s life, worshipping Equus was ideal, but the reality of teenage problems that Alan faces kills his idealistic views, forcing him to look further into his own reality.
On the other hand, Camus’s use of setting paints Mersault’s lack of understanding the concept of religion. “After them, the street slowly emptied out. The matinees had all started I guess. It was Sunday all right,” (Camus 22). This quote demonstrates Mersault’s lack of understanding religion. The setting paints of picture of people scattering out of town on the streetcars on a Sunday afternoon. Mersault believes that it is because the matinees are starting soon. But, really people are heading off to church which he does not understand. This illustrates that Mersault is comfortable in his reality without even giving a thought to the concept of religion.
Through the use of first person narration, Shaffer…..
On the contrary, Camus’s use of first person narration shows Meursault’s disinterest in a particular religion which he desires to acquire in his own reality. His crime creates so much drama that he ends up in jail with nothing to turn to. Incorporate this quote. “…it was his conviction that no man was so guilty that God would not forgive him, but in order for that to happen a man must repent and in so doing become like a child whose heart is open and ready to embrace all….at the same time I knew that that was ridiculous because, after all, I was the criminal,” (Camus 68). Through first person narration, this quote depicts Meursault’s realization that his disinterest in religion is the reason why people refer to him as the criminal, and that turning to God will not have a positive effect on his life. Having already been arrested and thrown into jail as a convicted criminal, this shows that even though Meursault lacks interest in a particular religion, he finds...

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