Existentialism in The Stranger by Albert Camus

Existentialism in The Stranger by Albert Camus

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In defining existentialism the responsibility of the free being is essential to define what one is although the actions taken by the individual are self imposed and are not the fault of the environment. The Stranger by Albert Camus is in relation to the existential philosophy of the individuals deviating thoughts towards their actions are in relation with protagonist Meursault in The Stranger by Albert Camus. Existentialism and its definition of mans self determination reflects life during the world war two era.
World war one and two developed a sense of pessimism to the optimistic faith driven world. The suggestion that pessimism dominated the outlook of the world is out ruled in the perspective of an existentialist. The leading philosopher of this attitude Jean ?Paul Sartre believed that in passing judgment of individual?s actions one is being deceptive towards their own. To a spiritual individual this is unacceptable way of thought, coming to terms with the reality of living in purposeless world, would be end to a faith of a purposeful future which ultimately does not exist. In The Stranger Meursault comes to terms with his own execution as he realizes death will come for him weather it is today or five years from now this life is meaningless but he lived as he wanted (Fiero 71 -72).

During Post World war two era developments of technology and the modern society?s estrangement from reasoning left the individual alienated from aspects of life. The modern individual discomfort toward the unknown which was ultimately led to death left one alienated with a sense of anxiety. It can be assumed that the individual came to terms with the reality of the world through that existentialism was found. Leading a life that an individual currently wants to live and not that of what society tells them live by for their future, can be compared to Meursault life style. Meursault is a passive man, unmotivated to the individual leading a life of judgment and denial. His way of life fulfills the qualities of an existentialist and he is ridiculed for the ease of the pleasures in his life during his trial (Fiero71).

The existential life is free of the constraints of society, morality and values are irrelevant to the existence of the individual. Lack of rationality in a world filled with events occurring spontaneously existentialism can be perceived as the basic irrational structure to an individual?

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s life. In examining Meursault life nothing is in connection to one another and each day is lived without purpose. When Marie wants to marry him he says yes with out hesitation but, when she ask such a meaningful question such as if he loved her he said no. If Meursault were to respond yes to Marie?s question it would contradict the irrationality of life bringing purpose to having Marie in his life. (Fiero71)

philosophy of existentialism brings new light in the perception of the world. Though in the eyes of an existentialist life of an individual is irrational and meaningless, existentialism can pose and individuals purpose, to live for the moment. Meursault comes to terms with his inevitable death through his realization that he had lived his life as he had wanted and the irrationality of his death is the irrationality of life.
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