The Stranger: Albert Camus And Existentialism

601 words - 2 pages

The Stranger Analysis

The opening line of The Stranger sets up the absurdity in Meursault.�He speaks about how his mom had "died today" or "yesterday maybe". He felt absolutely nothing and could only focus on what day she died. This kind of indifference goes on throughout the story, introducing to the reader what Meursault really thinks. The world sees him to have no meaning in a world filled with it. This nihilistic way of thinking disgusted the society he was living in because of the significance and purpose society puts to life. Camus describes these same ideals in "The Myth of Sisyphus". In this essay Camus presents Sisyphus, who is condemned to forever roll a large stone up a hill to only have it roll back down.

Both of Camus pieces relate directly to nihilism, both of these experiences containing futile efforts due to the fact that their efforts remain ineffectual in changing their lives. At the start of The Stranger, Meursault sees no meaning in life and seems to drift along in life. He however doesn't know the deeper meaning of his thinking, as a reader one notices his ignorance in this until later in the story where he analyzes his situation and life. The absurd comes to conclude his meaning for life. In this aspect Meursault's life resembles the life of Sisyphus.

Like Meursault's life, Sisyphus too has a meaningless life. His unimportant life revolves around performing the same task continuously with no outcome to his work. Mersault realizes this when Raymond gives him the gun. He realized he...

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