Literary Analysis: "The Stranger" And "The House Of The Spirits"

1196 words - 5 pages

The novels The Stranger and The House of the Spirits have distinctly different plots. The authors of the books have different styles and techniques used to create their vision of a great story. In The Stranger by Albert Camus and The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, the characters, Meursault and Esteban Garcia are established as socially distant from their associates. They have neither emotion nor remorse for anything they have done. These characters are only connected to each other through this one flaw aside the difference of individual character. The authors have built their characters in such a way, in order to incorporate an outcast in their novels.
Albert Camus sets the character known as Mersault to be his one outlier. Mersault, the main character, is evidently distinguished as the outcast as of Part 1 Chapter 1. Mersault, in The Stranger, is a difficult character to understand. Within the novel, Camus portrays Mersault as “absurd.” The philosophy of absurdity is too complicated to be explained. In a way, it can be described as to having no care for anything in life because there is no reason. There is no purpose or meaning in life. The idea of it is to be born, live and die. It doesn’t matter what happens seeing that an end result is death. The fact that Camus used the theme of absurdity, Camus had made Mersault an amoral character. Mersault’s amorality kept reflecting on Camus’ plot and technique. In the beginning of The Stranger, Camus sets his characters involved in the funeral process of the mother, Maman. The ordeal moment is focused on Mersault’s reactions toward his mother’s death foreshadows the continuous amoral trait. Mersault had no relationship with his mother. It was obvious because “[he] didn’t know the exact number” (16) of Maman. Mersault showed no emotion, not even a tear for her “as if Maman was not dead” (3). It is clear that there is no attachment to Maman although she was Mersault’s mother. Not only is Maman his mother but the only relative he knows. Therefore, he should at least have some grief towards her.
Camus then places a second woman in the life of Mersault. Camus’ line of reasoning is to indicate Mersault’s unemotional characterization. Camus uses Marie to further characterize Mersault. Marie is a test of Mersault’s ability to love or contain emotion. Mersault is not in love with his girlfriend, Marie. There is no surprise since he seems to have no feelings. He has no care in the world to love her. When “she asked [him] if [he] loved her, [he] said that sort of question had no meaning” (35). It seems that Mersault only has a sexual desire for Marie. Every time Mersault had seen Marie especially in her bikini, he “wanted her so bad” (34). Marie is treated like a piece of meat. This impression is given from the constant “fondling of her breast” (20) yet having “no meaning” (35) to love her. Marie also “asks if [he] wanted to marry her” (41). Mersault, incessantly, felt no care for marriage because...

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