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Japanese Novel "Kokoro" (The Heart Of Things, Natsume Soseki) And "Le'etranger" (The Stranger By Albert Camus.

1951 words - 8 pages

Within societies one finds constructive elements that mimic one another. Many cultures or societies, despite ethnic, religious and territorial differences tend to share similar structure. They do so in terms of creating a mass majority body as a deciding component a world of robotic people subjected to the laws and ruled implemented by their world, creating a somewhat catatonic ethos. It is this unquestioning routine that is reflected in two culturally different novels, Soeski's Kokoro a Japanese translated novel and Camus' The Stranger a French based novel, both illustrate, through the protagonists, Sensei and Mersault's, a universality in the nature of man, where both chracters, suffer with themselves and society, struggle against it and are finally brought to similar conclusions about the limits of man, serving to enlighten the reader as well as serve as a message about the commonalities in mans relations with society and himself, despite time and culture, .The theme of each story becomes clear, as the narrator's are made aware of their relationship with the oppressive patterns in their societies. In The Stranger Mersault, confined to his prison cell for the murder of an Arab, is forced to evaluate his relationship with society, as he begins to gradually recognize the absurdity of life. "Then I remembered what the nurse at Maman's funeral said, "No there was no way out, and no one can imagine what nights in prison are like." (Camus 81) Mersault having been separated from his life, living in a purely sensual environment, is abruptly introduced into a world he cannot comprehend. He has been thrown into a world that exists within the values created by the law and church. For the first time he is able to recognize the conflict between himself and the world. He is unable to find any truth or meaning in either piece the world of logic, represented by the laws and religion, or his world of living life in the purely sensual. Mersault has come to realize that there is no escape from this paradoxical universe that governs the lives of men. The nurse at Maman's funeral represented this paradox that exists in everyday life when she said, in reference to walking in the heat, "If you go to slowly you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go to fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church." (Camus 17) The irony of this statement that in either way there is failure and risks, wither way there are consequences, is a theme that is carried throughout the novel and one is able to see how Mersualt's character initial avoids these decision by taking an a tone of indifference to protect himself from the dualities of the world there is no escape from this absurd pattern . The heat that is also prominent motif reflecting the and instigating emotions within the characters; there is no escape from this absurd pattern. He has tried to revolt against it by ignoring his limitations and living solely within the physical sensations of life.Like Mersault,...

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