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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 on life and it is unclear why he feels the way he does but his tone is constantly detached, plain, and at times subtly ironic. That is the key reason this book is referred to as a panicle example of existentialism and also corresponds with the quote;
"A world which can be explained, even though bad reasoning, is a familiar one. On the other hand, in a world suddenly devoid of illusion and light, man feels like a stranger."
The reality in which Meursault inhabits describes a realistic world in all its accounts, from themes as natural as death to petty jealousy and the judicial system which corresponds perfectly with the first sentence of the quote. The second sentence then dives deeper to say that even in a rational world such as this, once it is presented in a new light the world as we know it could become alien leaving people in a state of awe and the way this is expressed in The Stranger is with Meursault's outlook on life and his internal struggle to be himself in a society that isn’t correspondent to his own ideologies.
The Stranger is usually referred to as an “existential” novel, however because the term itself is so board the description is not entirely accurate. The term “existentialism” refers to the ideology stating that there is no greater meaning to the universe or to man’s existence, and as such there is no rational order in the world. Therefore according to its...

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