The Absurd in Albert Camus’ The Stranger

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Empathy makes us human yet not all humans are emphatic, In Albert Camus’ The Stranger a suspiciously apathetic man named Meursault comes to light as a criminal. However Meursault perpetrated a crime of passion, is that not absurd for a negligent man? In a simple view of Meursault life and philosophies the remission of human feelings is evident, and slightly frightening. In the stranger most of the events in the main characters life require an emotional effect, the death of his mother, the engagement to a beautiful woman who loved him deeply, befriending a criminal, and most shockingly the act of homicide. If all humans were as impartial to the events in their lives then the world would be condemned to the folly of uncharacteristic actions, and the population would all as strange as Meursault.

“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.” (Camus Part 1 Page 3) Meursault first words to the reader are those that halt a persons train of thought, seeing as he forgot what day he is told his mother died! A sentimental occasion that drives anyone to tears bothered Meursault because it meant that he has to travel far away and change his schedule drastically. His nonchalant reaction causes the people that surround him at the moment to become confused, and harms how the judge sees his character in his murder trial. In the world we live in that which is different causes fear, and Mersault's indifference caused his society to see him as dangerous and alarming, and they has good reason.

Though the main character is a reclusive man he managed to meet a woman that enjoy spending time with him. Marie...

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...e accepts his death sentence knowing that he is correct all along, none of the things that happen matter; he was going to die anyway now it was just sooner. Meursault is ecstatic because his life is in his control, he has control of his thoughts and his indifference to the world that makes him a stranger, and hated by society. “As if that blind rage has washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, I that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much life myself – so like a brother, really – I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate.” (Part 2 Page 123)

Works Cited

Albert Camus The Starnger

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