The Grief of Existentialist in Albert Camus’s Work of Fiction, "The Stranger"

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Albert Camus’s work of fiction, The Stranger, explores the life of a French man known as Meursault after his mother dies of old age. Meursault does not feel grief for his mothers death as he believes that doing so is pointless since he, as well as Camus himself, is an atheist and an existentialist. As such, he doesn’t concern himself with traditional emotions and beliefs and is instead only concerned with the physical world around him and his physical interactions with it. This is best exemplified when comparing the novels opening paragraph, “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.” to the uncomfortable heat that he complains about for the entire first chapter. Upon learning of his mother’s death Meursault doesn’t show any emotion in relation to her death. Instead he is more concerned with the telegram not telling him exactly when it occurred. After arriving at the home Meursault then becomes preoccupied with the extreme heat causing...

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