Uncommon Individuals

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Uncommon Individuals Meursault in The Stranger is similar to Esteban Trueba in The House of Spirits. Both male characters struggle in expressing their true inner feelings. Never once were they depicted to be crying from sorrow. They are both outsiders as they seem detached from the world around them. They prefer to live by their own terms. Their actions are not meant to please others, but rather to please themselves. Most people do not accept them due to their opposite views on society. For this reason, they are considered atypical. The unique personalities of Meursault in The Stranger by Albert Camus and Esteban Trueba in The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende allow them to live in their own worlds. In The Stranger, Camus’ style beautifully incorporates the central theme of Absurdism. According to Camus, a person who is Absurd is someone who is amorally indifferent. Mersault is a vital reflection of Camus’ definition of Absurdism. Mersault’s character clearly displays indifference of the universe. Meursault is apathetic and has no value systems. In the beginning of The Stranger, he appears to be uninterested with human existence. A perfect example is his mother’s death. At the funeral, Meursault does not exhibit emotional pain, but rather focuses on his physical pain as “[his] back was hurting [him]” (11). He never cried “with sighs and sobs” like one of the female mourners (11). Indeed Meursault loved his mother, but he did not demonstrate it with the same matter of Thomas Perez’s. Mersault and Thomas Perez are foil characters. Mersault was never depicted to have shed one tear of mourning. On the contrary, Perez was the only person who expressed true agony of Maman’s death. Perez had “big tears of frustration” and immense “e... ... middle of paper ... ...rias…to [be able to] read, write, and do simple arithmetic” (59). Tragically, Esteban cannot conceal his sexual desires. In Tres Marias, Esteban would “savagely” engaged in “unnecessary [sexual] brutality” (57). He “slept like and angel” (58) after “thrusting himself into [an innocent girl] without preamble” (57). And so, after much assistance of Esteban, “Tres Marias and the mine were both producing as they should for the first time since God put them on this planet” (65). Allende’s diction helps the reader understand that even though Esteban Trueba has accomplished great wonders for the agriculture in Tres Marias, he is still a vile monster. Word Count: 1,243 Works Cited Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits. Trans. Magda Bogin. New York: Bantam Books, 1982. Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage International, 1988.
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