Analysis Of The Outsider And The Guest By Albert Camus

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Humans have the freedom to think, feel, say and act however they want. However, this freedom is constrained by societal norms. In other words, the power to condone (or not) our thoughts, feelings, words and actions lies within the hands of society. Although humans are constrained by the rules society have set, there are a select few who choose to defy it. In both The Outsider and The Guest, Albert Camus portrays the paradoxical struggle against the inescapability of human judgement, and ultimately the condemnation of the individuals who chooses to differ from the norm. Suggesting that society views outsiders as a threat to its order, which is why society separate themselves from people who do not conform to its rules.
Camus presents Meursault
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Throughout the story, Meursault is portrayed as an honest man with a genuine indifference towards society, who also ceases to scrutinize himself, especially his emotions, a fact which he admits to his lawyer after his arrest for the murder of the Arab on the beach (The Outsider, 65). The lawyer, however, becomes extremely frustrated with Meursault’s responses because he is not thinking the way he ought to be. Later on, Meursault did have “an urge to reassure [his lawyer] that [he is] like everybody else”, but he didn’t because he didn’t feel like it. Here, Meursault is illustrating his refusal to conform to the norms and to the societal system that calls to exhibit more than what one feels (The Outsider, 66). Not even the threat of death could force Meursault to conform. In The Guest, Daru’s sense of moral individualism is much more apparent in. He tries to maintain his neutrality to the conflict between the French and the Algerian by living an isolated life on a desserted plateau. Daru’s neutrality constitutes to Meursault’s indifference. Even though Daru appears to be avoiding society’s influence…show more content…
In the end of The Guest, Daru chooses not to choose in order to keep his neutrality. Instead he frees the Arab and makes him choose his own path, which upsets the French. However, the Arab chooses to take himself to prison, which is a betrayal to the Arabs. So when it says “he was alone”, Daru recognizes that doing the morally right thing is an isolating act and allows himself to to be exiled by society, both the French and the Algerian. His choice to stand his neutrality, to stand for what he believe is right, led him to be condemned by society. The same thing goes for Meursault. When he lash out to the priest at the end of the story, it portrays the struggles of an individual in society. Meursault is sure about himself: He knows himself and what he believed in. His lash out to the priests is his way of saying that no one have the right to force their views on him because they aren’t his. Yet there he is in prison, awaiting his death not only because he killed a man but mostly because of how he views the world and how he chose to act in the past. Meursault refuses to show the emotions he didn’t have, to apologize for the things he isn’t apologetic about. He doesn’t hold the same views as society have. Meursault wishes for a society that is accepting to greeting a person with “cries of hate” during their execution.

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