Recognizing hopelessness in this human condition, man discovers his kingdom in this world. True, this world is a temporary kingdom, one which he will eventually loss, yet this is the only world possible for him. This knowledge sets off in him in a terrible feeling of frustration, one that leads to a passionate commitment to life and all that it can offer. Consequently it brings about an equally passionate rebellion against death and everything that may justify it.
The absurd as a human condition is dramatized in the experiences of one man in the stranger. Meursault, the books main protagonist lives a meaningless existence in world steered in nihilism.
With the second war just breaking out into its full dire potentialities and threatening to plunge the world into chaos, and with the bitter memories of the first world war fresh in minds of people all over the world, especially Europeans, Meursault came as a familiar figure indeed.
He is simply depicted the lot of many Europeans who seemed to inhabit a land that no longer corresponded to their innermost aspirations. The land, rocked by turmoil which shattered all semblance of stability, was no longer theirs and yet they were all in it.
In other words, the absurd has not yet been brought home to his consciousness at the time he begins the adventures that he narrates. That Meursault appears and seems to act in conformity with the absurdist ways of life is an indication of his innocence and not of his awareness of the absurd.
Awareness of absurdity comes to Meursault in its full implications during his confrontation with the priest whose offer of salvation in God‘s mercy and forgiveness only serves to make him realize the utter hopelessness of his fate. This leads him to a passionate declaration of an affirmation of life and a denial of death. That he is passionate about this even to the verge of rage is explained by his realization of his hopeless fate. Meursault‘s acceptance of hopelessness assures him of anew freedom—
Page | 18
the freedom of the men condemned to death. All else being rendered meaningless by death in only life has meaning at all and on the brink of losing life, he sees death in full defiance and with a heart ready to start life all over again.
On his defiance of death, Meursault sees a justification of his way of life since in his actions he has sought nothing but the...