Albert Camus and His Views on Existentialism

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Albert Camus is considered one of the greatest existentialist writers of all time. However, although he was considered an existentialist writer, Camus never labeled himself as an existentialist. “No, I am not an existentialist” (Albert Camus: Lyrical and Critical Essays, Vintage (1970)) Camus rejected in an 1945 interview, however in some of his literary works, some find that his writings are one of a true existentialistic thinker. Although many contrast these thoughts and believe that Camus was anything but a thinker of this philosophy, Camus is one of the main authors that people turn to research and read to understand the thinking of existentialism. One of his most famous books, The Plague, illustrates the need for a human to become an individual and find true existence in society. "Since life made no sense, each man must give meaning to his individual existence" (McCarthy 202) Existentialism, at first, can be very confusing to someone whose unfamiliar with it. However the message behind this philosophy is very lucid once understood. Life, in its terms, is meaningless. There is no point to the life. Existentialists often do not believe in an afterlife so they believe that a human basically should “live the life”. “Exist” stance within society, solely depends on how a human makes themselves an individual and the actions they take to make them one. They as individuals have to give themselves a mean to their existence or in shorter terms, existence is based on an humans daily actions which therefore make them individuals. (Extensialism) unified by a central concern with the ultimate challenge of human existence - to find sound values, to grow as a person, and to build a meaningful and socially construc... ... middle of paper ... ...e ringleader to the volunteer sanitation groups. Tarrou’s actions and beliefs were based on values and what he believed was morally right. He believed it was his moral duty to help and try to save people from the plague making him the true hero of the catastrophe. Although Rieux helped as many people as he could, his sincerity is questioned in the novel. Everyone else in the town seems to wait for the end to come and does nothing to conquer and resist death unlike Rieux and Tarrou. Tarrou, however finds a noble reason to conquer this plague and that is to achieve his “sainthood” which is preventing from spreading and being consumed by the plague. Although Tarrou in the end succumbs from the disease, the plague has not killed him. Tarrou achieved his goal of his sainthood and therefore made his mark in society. Tarrou achieved the goal of becoming a true individual.

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