The Absurd In Albert Camus’ The Stranger

1304 words - 5 pages

Empathy makes us human yet not all humans are emphatic, In Albert Camus’ The Stranger a suspiciously apathetic man named Meursault comes to light as a criminal. However Meursault perpetrated a crime of passion, is that not absurd for a negligent man? In a simple view of Meursault life and philosophies the remission of human feelings is evident, and slightly frightening. In the stranger most of the events in the main characters life require an emotional effect, the death of his mother, the engagement to a beautiful woman who loved him deeply, befriending a criminal, and most shockingly the act of homicide. If all humans were as impartial to the events in their lives then the world would be condemned to the folly of uncharacteristic actions, and the population would all as strange as Meursault.
“Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: 'Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.' That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.” (Camus Part 1 Page 3) Meursault first words to the reader are those that halt a persons train of thought, seeing as he forgot what day he is told his mother died! A sentimental occasion that drives anyone to tears bothered Meursault because it meant that he has to travel far away and change his schedule drastically. His nonchalant reaction causes the people that surround him at the moment to become confused, and harms how the judge sees his character in his murder trial. In the world we live in that which is different causes fear, and Mersault's indifference caused his society to see him as dangerous and alarming, and they has good reason.
Though the main character is a reclusive man he managed to meet a woman that enjoy spending time with him. Marie, his lover, is deeply in love with a man that did not seem to be fazed by the fact that he has what most people yearn for. “A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. She looked sad. But as we were fixing lunch, and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her,” (Part 1 Page 35) Meursault explains how he enjoys spending time with Marie. Through Marie refused to understand that he didn’t love her, and then decided to marry him. Its ludicrous, a man that does not care for love, believe in love or want love, gets it. Books, television, music, all contain prominent themes about wanting love and yearning to be loved, and a man that does not care to have it or not, receives it. Camus shows the reader how preposterous it is to care about anything, if someone who does not worry for life, gets it.
“The word on the street is that he lives off women.” (Part 1 Page 28) Raymond, a pimp, is Meursault best and only friend. Building on the fact that Meursault makes witless decision to befriend a known criminal, who beats up his girlfriend because of a hunch that she cheats on him. Meursault becomes friends with Raymond not because he wants to, but...

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