This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Albert Camus The Stranger: Existentialism And Absurdism

1263 words - 5 pages

Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts. This philosophy is essentially the crux of the novel The Stranger and not only serves as one of the themes but probably the main reason Albert Camus wrote the book altogether. Presented in first person narration through the eyes of Meursault, the indifferent and apathetic main character, the novel serves to evoke the creed of existentialism through the embodiment of the philosophy in a person. Meursault's speech, thought, and actions are what Camus believed a person who innately possessed the tenets of existentialism would have. Existentialism, what it represents, the results of its embodiment in a person, and the validity of the doctrine altogether are all important aspects explored in The Stranger by Albert Camus."Maman died today or yesterday maybe, I don't know". These opening lines of the novel serve not only to introduce the novel but to summarize it as well. Rather than focusing on what is important-his mother's death-Meursault is focused on when exactly she died; whether it was yesterday or today, since the telegraph only stated the funeral would be tomorrow. Right away, within the very first sentence, the reader is introduced to existentialism incarnate. Meursault exhibits a complete and utter indifference to life manifested by a profound lack of emotion. He doesn't care when his mother died, in fact the fact that he has to attend the funeral altogether is the most troubling part of this whole ordeal to him. When he finally gets to the funeral, he couldn't care less about his mother-as he rejects the offer to open the casket-but is utterly consumed by the days heat. Camus does a great job in the first part of the novel of demonstrating to the reader not only the philosophy of existentialism, but a corporal representation of it as well.This corporal representation of existentialism is what makes The Stranger the unique book it is. As opposed to the multitude of books and manifestos approaching existentialism from an academic perspective, The Stranger approaches the philosophy by detailing a character with the belief innately in him and showing how someone like this might behave. Neither the external world in which Meursault lives nor the internal world of his thoughts and attitudes possesses any rational order. Meursault has no discernable reason for his actions, such as his decision to marry Marie and his decision to kill the Arab. The book, narrated by Meursault, is basically life detailed superficially by him. He talks about the weather, the food he's eating, about the things he did that day rather than how he feels or thinks of other people, places and things. This is how a person consumed with existentialism would behave and think-indifferently and apathetically....

Find Another Essay On Albert Camus The Stranger: Existentialism and Absurdism

Existentialism and Albert Camus' The Plague

3980 words - 16 pages Existentialism and The Plague    In the mid 1940s, a man by the name of Albert Camus began to write a story. This story he called La Pesté. Written in French, the novel became extremely popular and has since been translated numerous times into many languages. This story has been read over and over, yet it tells more than it seems to. This story tells the tale of a city gripped by a deadly disease. This is true enough, but this is not what

Albert Camus' The Stranger Essay

1668 words - 7 pages Albert Camus' The Stranger What if the past has no meaning and the only point in time of our life that really matters is that point which is happening at present. To make matters worse, when life is over, the existence is also over; the hope of some sort of salvation from a God is pointless. Albert Camus illustrates this exact view in The Stranger. Camus feels that one exists only in the world physically and therefore the presence or

Albert Camus' the stranger

854 words - 4 pages L’Etranger; the stranger, the outsider. Through the story, Meursault seems to have no emotion or response to experiences and people. For this, he is seen as strange and an outsider. Meursault does not explain or focus on his emotion or relationship with people; he shows it through his aesthetic view of nature. Meursault explains all of the nature he comes across, but provides very little detail is regarding the people around him. This is done

The Stranger by Albert Camus

1327 words - 5 pages of religion as belief, his acceptance of the “benign indifference of the universe”, and his acceptance of his circumstances all leading to happiness personifies Camus’s take on Absurdism, the philosophy that Camus is trying to depict in The Stranger (76). By using foil characters to contrast Meursault in actions or personality, Camus creates several polarizing situations, making Meursault the extreme epitome of Absurdism in every contrasting relationship and thus, shining light on his ideology in the process. Works Cited Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1946. Print.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

1816 words - 7 pages what is socially acceptable but it is certainly not absurd. If anything is absurd it is the fact that Camus thinks that having an order to daily life is clearly unreasonable.In the novel, The Stranger, Meursault has a bit of "off the wall" luck. In the beginning of the novel his mother dies after living in a home for three years. Meursault goes to the home to attend the funeral but displays no grief and acts as if nothing has happened. This is

The Stranger by Albert Camus

1195 words - 5 pages that they become too biased and give an unfair conviction and sentencing. In his novel, The Stranger, Albert Camus uses the courtroom as a symbol to represent society that judges the main character, Meursalt, unfairly to illustrate how society forms opinions based on one’s past. Meursalt faces a jury and a tough prosecutor when he is

The Stranger by Albert Camus - 744 words

744 words - 3 pages In The Stranger, Albert Camus reveals Meursault, the book's narrator and main character as distant, isolated, and unemotional. He does not think much about events or their consequences, nor does he express much feeling in relationships or during emotional times. He displays unconcern throughout the book in his reactions to people and events described in the book.After Meursault's mothers death he sheds no tears and shows no emotion. He displays

The Stranger by Albert Camus - 1408 words

1408 words - 6 pages him from feeling alone, and he accepts that the companionship will be in the form of an angry mob on the day of his execution. However, he changes throughout the trial and eventually becomes a hero. This is because he finds meaning in life. It is ironic, though; that he learns to appreciate life after his is effectively over. Work Cited Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage International, 1989.

The Stranger, by Albert Camus

815 words - 4 pages In many works of literature a character conquers great obstacles to achieve a worthy goal. Sometimes the obstacles are personal impediment, at other times it consists of the attitude and beliefs of others. In the book The Stranger by Albert Camus, shows the character Meursault who is an emotionless character that let’s other people show their opinions and emotions into him giving him a type of feeling even if Meursault doesn’t care. Meursault

The Stranger by Albert Camus - 688 words

688 words - 3 pages crowd, intense heat of the sun, and the shot of light from the blade made my nauseous state intensify. The silence was broken by a loud screech of metal, which stopped as suddenly as it began. The sound sent me over the edge and I bent over and began heaving.In reality the sound only lasted less than a second; looking back on it now it seems like it lasted forever. To this day it still haunts me."The Stranger" by Albert Camus

The Stranger by Albert Camus - 1762 words

1762 words - 7 pages The Stranger by Albert CamusMeursault is a shipping clerk whose mother has just died but he does not seem very upset about it. He takes a few days off work to attend his mother's funeral. He catches the bus to the nursing home where his mother's body is. The doorkeeper of the nursing home starts to open the lid of the coffin but Meursault stops him because he does not want to see his mother's body. Mr. Perez, his mother's friend, is the only

Similar Essays

The Stranger: Albert Camus And Existentialism

601 words - 2 pages The Stranger Analysis The opening line of The Stranger sets up the absurdity in Meursault.�He speaks about how his mom had "died today" or "yesterday maybe". He felt absolutely nothing and could only focus on what day she died. This kind of indifference goes on throughout the story, introducing to the reader what Meursault really thinks. The world sees him to have no meaning in a world filled with it. This

Existentialism In The Stranger By Albert Camus

1529 words - 6 pages In The Stranger by Albert Camus there are many points where Camus’s personal beliefs in existentialism are found. Camus showed his existentialistic beliefs by using his characters to make social commentaries on multiple different social institution, including marriage, time, and society itself. Camus uses all of his characters to show his social commentaries with specific characters going to show what existentialists believe are bad qualities of

Existentialism In The Stranger By Albert Camus

663 words - 3 pages Originally released in French, The Stranger by Albert Camus (published in 1942) follows the story of Meursault whom is a French man living in Algeria prior to the 2nd World War and gives his own unique perspective of the events between when he receives a telegram stating that his mother had recently pass away to when he is executed for the murder of a man only referred to as “The Arab” whom he had shot. Meursault had an interesting outlook

The Stranger, Albert Camus Essay

1380 words - 6 pages hotel and, without knowing it, gave away the traveler’s identity. The mother hanged herself. The sister threw herself down the well. I must have read that story a thousand times. On the one hand it wasn’t very likely. On the other, it was perfectly natural. Anyway, I thought the traveler pretty much deserved what he got and that you should never play games.” (Camus 79-80.) Within The Stranger, Albert Camus implements a passage concerning