The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay

1408 words - 6 pages

Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger, Meursault the main character, narrates in the first person and thus, his perceptions are limited. The description of the other characters is entirely subjective, that is, he does not attempt to understand their thoughts and feelings. Meursault is detached from society which makes his descriptions of things going on around him removed. He also refuses to adhere to the accepted moral order of society and thus, society brands him an outsider. The internal world of his thoughts and the external world of he lives in both don’t retain any order. Events that usually have a lot of meaning to people, such as marriage proposals and death in the family, don’t seem to matter to Meursault, at least not emotionally. However, through Camus’s use of a first person narrative, we start to see and comprehend that Meursault is not immoral, but indifferent. He is a symbol of the universe, and the universe is seen as a place of moderate indifference.
Meursault is completely estranged from societal norms like set plans, ambitions, desires, love, and emotions in general. The reader sees the nature of his personality in the first few lines of the novel: “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.” (Pg. 3). These lines introduce Meursault’s emotional indifference, one of the most important traits he shows us throughout the novel. Meursault does not express any sorrow upon learning of his mother’s death; he just took the news in and processed it without showing any emotion. Her death made no real impact on his life other than momentarily disturbing his daily lifestyle by taking him away from work for a couple of days. His main concern is the precise day of his mother’s death—a detail that seems minor compared to her death. .
Since the story is told from his point-of-view, it allows us to understand the situation as Meursault perceives it. Meursault has a passion for the truth. Since Meursault is very blunt, he is an outcast, and is detached from others because they cannot face the truths of the world like he sees them. If we look at what happened like this, we can see that Meursault is not evil, but indifferent and detached from life. When things come his way, he takes them as they are trying to do what is easiest for him – he doesn’t consume himself with anything or get too into anything. For example, he becomes friends with Raymond and agrees to marry Marie because he doesn’t have any specific reason not to. When we see the story from Meursault’s viewpoint, we realize that even when Meursault killed the Arab, it wasn’t out of evil intent or nastiness. As Meursault puts it, “My nature is such that my physical needs often get in the way of my feelings.” With this in context, the things happening begin to seem justified. Meursault’s seemingly ambiguous statement that he murdered the Arab...

Find Another Essay On The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger, by Albert Camus Essay

815 words - 4 pages In many works of literature a character conquers great obstacles to achieve a worthy goal. Sometimes the obstacles are personal impediment, at other times it consists of the attitude and beliefs of others. In the book The Stranger by Albert Camus, shows the character Meursault who is an emotionless character that let’s other people show their opinions and emotions into him giving him a type of feeling even if Meursault doesn’t care. Meursault

The Stranger by Albert Camus Essay

688 words - 3 pages crowd, intense heat of the sun, and the shot of light from the blade made my nauseous state intensify. The silence was broken by a loud screech of metal, which stopped as suddenly as it began. The sound sent me over the edge and I bent over and began heaving.In reality the sound only lasted less than a second; looking back on it now it seems like it lasted forever. To this day it still haunts me."The Stranger" by Albert Camus

The Stranger by Albert Camus

1762 words - 7 pages The Stranger by Albert CamusMeursault is a shipping clerk whose mother has just died but he does not seem very upset about it. He takes a few days off work to attend his mother's funeral. He catches the bus to the nursing home where his mother's body is. The doorkeeper of the nursing home starts to open the lid of the coffin but Meursault stops him because he does not want to see his mother's body. Mr. Perez, his mother's friend, is the only

The Stranger, Albert Camus

1380 words - 6 pages hotel and, without knowing it, gave away the traveler’s identity. The mother hanged herself. The sister threw herself down the well. I must have read that story a thousand times. On the one hand it wasn’t very likely. On the other, it was perfectly natural. Anyway, I thought the traveler pretty much deserved what he got and that you should never play games.” (Camus 79-80.) Within The Stranger, Albert Camus implements a passage concerning

Albert Camus' The Stranger

1668 words - 7 pages Albert Camus' The Stranger What if the past has no meaning and the only point in time of our life that really matters is that point which is happening at present. To make matters worse, when life is over, the existence is also over; the hope of some sort of salvation from a God is pointless. Albert Camus illustrates this exact view in The Stranger. Camus feels that one exists only in the world physically and therefore the presence or

Albert Camus' the stranger

854 words - 4 pages . Meursault, a very unconventional character, explains his emotions through his description of his surroundings. He does not focus thoughts on his relationship with others or his emotions, but rather on the nature around him. How the nature is perceived by Meursault is how the reader understands Meursault as a character, what he is truly thinking and what he is feeling. This unconventional thought makes Meursault a stranger, an outsider. L’Estranger

Mortality in the Stranger by Albert Camus

1131 words - 5 pages Everyone will die. Meursault’s awareness of death contributes to his nonchalant attitude toward every death he witness or must endure in The Stranger. Death fails to upset Meursault. In The Stranger, Albert Camus emphasizes mortality in order to expose the ignorance humanity has towards the inevitable or unknown end. Camus’s emphasis on time accentuates Meursault’s indifference. This indifference reveals that death occurs inevitably

Existentialism in The Stranger by Albert Camus

1529 words - 6 pages In The Stranger by Albert Camus there are many points where Camus’s personal beliefs in existentialism are found. Camus showed his existentialistic beliefs by using his characters to make social commentaries on multiple different social institution, including marriage, time, and society itself. Camus uses all of his characters to show his social commentaries with specific characters going to show what existentialists believe are bad qualities of

Eyes in the Stranger by Albert Camus

1041 words - 4 pages knowledge provided by these truthful blue eyed characters, Meursault would have never made these self discoveries. In conclusion, all eyes in The Stranger always go back to Meursault, whether it’s his eyes or eyes of others Meursualt seems to gain the most knowledge from eyes, unfortunately characters cannot find the knowledge they seek within Meursault’s eyes. Therefore Albert Camus personifies eyes and or sight as a source of knowledge except for Meursault’s eyes. Works Cited Camus, Albert. The Stranger. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1942.

"The Stranger" by Albert Camus - Meursault's emotions

1173 words - 5 pages In "The Stranger", Albert Camus captures the story of a man who truly understands the basic core of human nature. Meursault, who seems cold and detached from the world, is actually very aware of his own emotions and surroundings. He understands to things to the core of where those emotion and feeling comes from. That is why he is unable to respond and act according to those feelings because he understands the futility of showing those feelings

"The Stranger" by Albert Camus: Research Paper

782 words - 3 pages Imagine a man so absurd, yet so in tune with himself that he does not go through the motions of life for anyone. This man has been brought to life in The Stranger by Albert Camus. The story takes place in a costal town of Algeria. The main character is named Meursault. He is an ordinary office clerk with no real aspirations of progress, love, or greatness. He does not have any false emotions and does not do anything to please people. He did not

Similar Essays

The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay

1327 words - 5 pages of religion as belief, his acceptance of the “benign indifference of the universe”, and his acceptance of his circumstances all leading to happiness personifies Camus’s take on Absurdism, the philosophy that Camus is trying to depict in The Stranger (76). By using foil characters to contrast Meursault in actions or personality, Camus creates several polarizing situations, making Meursault the extreme epitome of Absurdism in every contrasting relationship and thus, shining light on his ideology in the process. Works Cited Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1946. Print.

The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay 1816 Words

1816 words - 7 pages . The Stranger. Vintage International: New York, 1988.Fletcher, John. "Source: Albert Camus". African Writers 1(1997): 139-152.Rhein, Phillip H. "Albert Camus". Twayne's World Authors Series Online.New York: G.K. Hall & Co.,1999.Sartre, Jean-Paul. "An Explanation of 'The Stranger'". (pp108-121) Camus:A Collection of Critical Essays. Prentice- Hall, Inc. 1962."Absurd." Webster's Dictionary. Landoll, Inc: Ashland, Ohio, 1997.

The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay 1195 Words

1195 words - 5 pages that they become too biased and give an unfair conviction and sentencing. In his novel, The Stranger, Albert Camus uses the courtroom as a symbol to represent society that judges the main character, Meursalt, unfairly to illustrate how society forms opinions based on one’s past. Meursalt faces a jury and a tough prosecutor when he is

The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay 744 Words

744 words - 3 pages In The Stranger, Albert Camus reveals Meursault, the book's narrator and main character as distant, isolated, and unemotional. He does not think much about events or their consequences, nor does he express much feeling in relationships or during emotional times. He displays unconcern throughout the book in his reactions to people and events described in the book.After Meursault's mothers death he sheds no tears and shows no emotion. He displays