Looking at the Character of Meursault in The Stranger by Camus

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Looking at the Character of Meursault in The Stranger by Camus In Camus’s “The Stranger” I will be discussing how the character Meursault utilizes all of the six existential themes: Freedom, Contingency, Individuality, Existence, Reflection, and Passion. I will also address how Meursault utilizes the existential givens of existence: Death, Freedom, Existential Isolation, and Meaning/Meaninglessness. I will then go on to discuss Meursault’s responsibility (guilt) throughout the novel. Finally I will discuss the interaction between Meursault and the Chaplain and it’s significance. In “The Stranger” Meursault embodies all of the six existential themes. The first existential theme is freedom. Freedom means that whatever happened prior to now does not influence what your next choice in life will be, we are free to make any choice we want. Meursault displays Freedom by just doing as he wishes to do. In part one of the novel Meursault’s mother dies so he attends the funeral, nothing out of the ordinary. While at his mother's funeral, Meursault decides to smoke cigarettes, drink a cup of coffee, and also he fails to cry. This just shows how Meursault is displaying his free will, he does not let the influence of his mother dying effect what he wants to do. The second and the third theme’s Meursault displays together. These themes are existence which is the awareness of our choices, and passion which are psychological feelings that we understand before thinking kicks in. Meursault displays both of these themes at the end of the novel. Meursault wants his life to be here and now, he is not concerned with the here after. Meursault wants the remembrance of his life. Through this thinking Meursault displays Existence and Passion. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ve it again. There is no need to mourn. He simply hopes that he can enjoy remembering the time he has spent on earth for a little longer. Camus character Meursault utilizes all of the existential themes which are, Freedom, Contingency, Individuality, Existence, Reflection, and Passion which are all components of human nature, as well as the existential “givens” Death, Freedom, Existential Isolation, and Meaning/Meaninglessness. Meursault’s responsibility accompanies these elements ultimately helping decide the morality of his existence. The main idea of the interaction between the Chaplain and Meursault is that, the Chaplain, does not focus on the here and now but on the divine and the afterlife which he has no control over. Meursault on the other hand concentrates on the here and now and does not want the afterlife he just wants one more chance to live his life.
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