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Essay On Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): Apathy

576 words - 2 pages

Apathy in The Stranger (Outsider)

 

Often times an author incorporates a thought or philosophy into a work that can shape or reshape the attitude emitted from the novel. In Albert Camus', The Stranger, the Existential philosophy that the author fills into the work give an aura of apathy. With the opening lines of "Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure," Camus immediately sets a tone of indifference (1). Though the protagonist, Mersault, is not completely without cares, the overall attitude of passiveness he has toward himself, as well as toward others, give the entire novel a tone of apathy.

 

            With an analyzation of Mersault's character, an automatic attitude of nonchalance is quickly seen. Mersault does not lie to himself, let alone to others, because he has no need to. He does not care about the set laws of society, and he feels that he has no one to please, including himself, which is a reason why he has no qualms about being brutally honest and not hiding his feelings. This is seen when he discovers news of his mother's death. When the mortuary keeper offers to unscrew the lid of his mothers coffin, Mesault tells him "not to trouble" (6). He does not find it difficult to conceal his acceptance of her death. As a whole, Mersault's indifference can be seen through the way he progresses through life. He lives for each moment, not planing for the future or dwelling on the past. He has no reasonable answer for the prosecutors as to why he kills the Arab, and shows no regret while in jail. He "rarely [has] anything to say ... [and often] keep[s] [his] mouth shut" (82). He seldom offers his company to his friends, or takes time to arrange for the priorities of...

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