The Prison of Life

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Throughout the eons, man, known as the most inquisitive of creatures, had always sought the meaning of life. The answer had varied; to an altruistic person, man was made to serve the common good wheras to a Douglas Adams fan, the answer was merely 42. Philosophers dedicated their lives for the meaning of life and the reason for our existence here on Earth. Unlike other philosophers such as John Locke and Ayn Rand, famed writer Albert Camus believed that life had no meaning. According to Camus, life was, simply stated, absurd. Camus asserted three main tenets of his philosophy, coined Absurdism. Camus believed that this is the only world humans would ever know and this world is indifferent and aloof to our existence. Furthermore, he believed that the reason for existence lied within each individual. Nevertheless, Camus thought than individual did not stay a cold and aloof being, as might be expected, but rather was always in a state of incomplete development towards becoming more free and autonomous. As a writer, Albert Camus exemplified the Absurdist notion of an independent,fluxatiing individual in an indifferent world in his acclaimed book The Stranger. In the novel The Stranger, Albert Camus exemplifies the three main tenets of Absurdism through the actions, deeds and thoughts of the main character Meursault as he changes from a rigidly aloof man to one who is in love with the very idea of life

The Absurdist notion that an individual needs no external value to survive is portrayed by Meursault’s lack of remorse shown toward his crime and lack of compassion shown toward Marie. Rather, he is an end to himself, his life being justified by his sole existence. Meursault does not view prison as a punishment for killing the Arab; ins...

... middle of paper ... and apathetic man to a human who has accepted his fate and role in the world. During this momentous transformation, Camus clearly brings his Absurdist philosophy to light. In this way, The Stranger could be seen as a tragedy. A man whom society fails to understand is condemned and is treated like an outcast because of his character. But it can also be viewed as a happy story instead. A man finally accepts the world as what it is, is content with what society views him as and is happy to have lived his life no matter what had happened in it. In any case, The Stranger by Albert Camus is a brilliant work of art that should be enjoyed as a hearty philosophical tome about man and his self-realization.

Works Cited
Camus, Albert. The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays. New York: Random House, 1983.

Camus, Albert. The Stranger. New York: Random House, 1988.

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