Camus and Shaffer both implement physical actions and setting to imply judgment of the main characters. The two authors use images of eyes and the action of staring in different ways to cause a feeling of judgment to well up in the reader. In Equus, Equus himself often watches or sees Alan, his actions, and his faults. Alan stabs out the eyes of the horses in the barn because Equus’ gaze and mockery has finally driven him past the point of no return. The use of Equus as a judge of Alan implies internal conflict and criticism. As a part of Alan’s mind, when Equus criticizes Alan it implies his hate of himself. In addition, the physical set up of Equus emulates a jury. The fact that no actors ever leave the stage as well as the play’s watching audience bring to mind the set up of a jury and a guilty party. Similarly, in The Stranger, people often watch Meursault closely. During Meursault’s trial specifically, the woman from the restaurant was “staring at [him]” (Camus 86). Also, the jurors “were a...
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...nge, he follows the example and finds problems with everyone else. Shaffer and Camus both utilize the theme of preemptive guilt and accusation to imply that since the characters have so often been judged by society they expect it now.
Both Equus and The Stranger specifically contain judgment of the characters and consequently all people who do not fit the norm. By utilizing motifs, characterization, and physical actions, Shaffer and Camus take the judgment of their characters and apply it to everyone in society who feels they are outside looking in on all the normal people. Even though they clash with each other in the methods of deploying these techniques, Shaffer and Camus’ texts both bear the same message. These two postmodernist authors use their works as a tool to criticize and condemn society’s way of destroying the abnormal, the passionate, and the crazy.
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