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Albert Camus' The Stranger

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Length: 1687 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
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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 absence of meaning in one's life is alone revealed through that event which he or she is experiencing at a particular moment. These thoughts are presented through Meursault, a man devoid of concern for social conventions found in the world in which he lives, and who finds his life deprived of physical pleasure--which he deems quite important--when unexpectedly put in prison. 

The opening line of the novel sets the tone for Meursault's dispassion towards most things. The novel is introduced with the words: "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know" (3). Although the uncertainty originates with an ambiguous telegram, it seems that the ton...


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... or their emotions in general. He does not follow 'conventional' social beliefs nor does he believe in God, nor salvation. Meursault however loves his life. It is a pure love derived from enjoying his existence on a day-to-day basis, rarely looking back and never looking forward. His love is not dependent on doing what society or some religion has deemed correct, but on what he feels he wants to do despite what most would consider common.

Work Cited

Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage International, 1989.

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