Meursault From Camus ' The Stranger Essay

Meursault From Camus ' The Stranger Essay

Length: 1197 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Many people search for the true meaning of life. These ambitious souls maximize their days to fully take advantage of their finite allocation of time and do their best to live to the fullest extent. This ambitious mindset does not resonate with Meursault from Camus’ The Stranger. Meursault is a depressing young lad from Algiers who believes that his life, and everyone else 's, serves no purpose at all. Life, according to Meursault, is a mandatory task. He spends every day the same way, following the same set routine he restricts himself to. He shows an unsettling amount of indifference and is disappointingly careless. This personality continues until he murders a man and has to go through the trials and tribulations of dealing with the judicial system. The unsettling plot twist alters the way Meursault views the world and we see him start to change his thoughts and viewpoints as his imminent death awaits.
The first part of the novel begins with Meursault announcing his mother’s death: “Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know” (3). This offensive idea that a man does not know and essentially does not care about when his mother passed away sets the ground for the rest of part one of The Stranger as Meursault develops into a character who lacks any positive emotions towards life. At his mother’s vigil, he drank coffee, and considered smoking a cigarette, but he did not know if he could build the courage with his mother’s corpse only a few meters away, but then, according to Meursault: “I thought about it; it didn’t matter. I offered the caretaker a cigarette and we smoked” (8).
Meursault 's indifference is not just towards his mother, rather every other character that he interacts with, such as Marie. Despite the recent ...


... middle of paper ...


...ks about his mother’s teaching and how she “used to say that you can always find something to be happy about” (113). It is in desperate times like this where Meursault finds the need to express emotion, rationality, and empathy in his life.
In The Stranger, it is evident that, given his termination date, Meursault’s world view changes over the course of the novel. In the first half, Meursault is an apathetic, unemotional, and passive character who treats every day as a chore because he views life as meaningless. When the novel transitions to the second half and Meursault learns that he will soon die, he suddenly realizes that there is indeed a point in living, and he wishes for a pardon. Camus wants The Stranger to provoke societies of all generations to think about life and how it should be lived, as he presents his own mediation through the characters he created.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Meursault From Camus ' The Stranger Essay

- Many people search for the true meaning of life. These ambitious souls maximize their days to fully take advantage of their finite allocation of time and do their best to live to the fullest extent. This ambitious mindset does not resonate with Meursault from Camus’ The Stranger. Meursault is a depressing young lad from Algiers who believes that his life, and everyone else 's, serves no purpose at all. Life, according to Meursault, is a mandatory task. He spends every day the same way, following the same set routine he restricts himself to....   [tags: Life, Meaning of life, Death, Capital punishment]

Better Essays
1197 words (3.4 pages)

Looking at the Character of Meursault in The Stranger by Camus Essay

- Looking at the Character of Meursault in The Stranger by Camus In Camus’s “The Stranger” I will be discussing how the character Meursault utilizes all of the six existential themes: Freedom, Contingency, Individuality, Existence, Reflection, and Passion. I will also address how Meursault utilizes the existential givens of existence: Death, Freedom, Existential Isolation, and Meaning/Meaninglessness. I will then go on to discuss Meursault’s responsibility (guilt) throughout the novel. Finally I will discuss the interaction between Meursault and the Chaplain and it’s significance....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1061 words (3 pages)

Essay on Meursault’s Subconscious Mind in Albert Camus’ The Stranger

- In Part One of The Stranger, Albert Camus avoids religious confrontations with Meursault in order to subconsciously place blame on Christ for his criminal actions. Camus restricts Meursault’s relationships to further distance him from his mother. Meursault then alienates himself from the typical spiritual ceremonies and actions to demonstrate his distrust of religion. Simultaneously, Camus uses diction of clear and bright elements to characterize people in the novel, excluding Meursault. Camus associates dark colors with Meursault to depict a sadistic persona....   [tags: Albert Camus, The Stranger]

Better Essays
1122 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Unemotional Meursault in The Stranger by Albert Camus

- Unemotional Meursault in Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider) In Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger, the protagonist Meursault is a character who has definite values and opinions concerning the society in which he lives. His self-inflicted alienation from society and all its habits and customs is clear throughout the book. The novel itself is an exercise in absurdity that challenges the reader to face the nagging questions concerning the meaning of human existence. Meursault is an existentialist character who views his life in an unemotional and noncommittal manner, which enhances his obvious opinion that in the end life is utterly meaningless....   [tags: The Stranger, The Outsider]

Free Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Meursault 's The Stranger By Albert Camus

- In The Stranger by Albert Camus, the narrator, Meursault, has difficulty behaving in a manner deemed “normal” by society. Even though he struggles to feel and communicate different emotions, Meursault has many loyal friends and a keen boss. Meursault sees the world in black and white, refusing to focus on matters outside of his control. When his mother dies, Meursault is expected to show a change in his typical lifestyle. Not only do others expect this change, Meursault expects it in himself. With hearing of his mother’s death, shooting the Arab, and facing his own execution, Meursault expects a fundamental transformation in himself and, because he doesn’t experience it, he seeks to find mea...   [tags: Meaning of life, Life, Death, Afterlife]

Better Essays
1282 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): Meursault as Christ

- Meursault as Christ in The Stranger (The Outsider) In one of his later interviews, Camus made the somewhat irritated comment that Meursault is the “only Christ we deserve.” While this seem to be a pithy, witty comment, we need to figure out how Meursault is like Christ. Christ taught his disciples and had them go and teach others, yet Meursault has no disciples and chooses to say little. Meursault murders while Christ brings a man back from the dead. Most drastically, Christ ”died for our sins” in order to make all those who follow free from original sin....   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Better Essays
651 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): Meursault as Metaphysical Rebel

- Meursault as Metaphysical Rebel in The Stranger (The Outsider)      The Stranger by Albert Camus was published in 1942. The setting of the novel is Algiers where Camus spent his youth in poverty. In many ways the main character, Meursault, is a typical Algerian youth. Like them, and like Camus himself, Meursault was in love with the sun and the sea. His life is devoted to appreciating physical sensations. He seems so devoid of emotion. Something in Meursault's character has appealed primarily to readers since the book's publication....   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Better Essays
2000 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): The Gentle Meursault

- The Gentle Meursault of Camus’s The Stranger (The Outsider) In Albert Camus’s The Stranger, Meursault, the protagonist, could be seen as immoral if he were judged on the basis of his actions alone. However, through Camus’s use of a first person narrative, we begin to understand Meursault as not an immoral man, but simply an indifferent one. Meursault is a symbol of the universe, and so in understanding him we understand that the universe is also not evil, but instead a place of gentle indifference....   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Free Essays
688 words (2 pages)

Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): The Character of Meursault

- The Character of Meursault in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider) Raymond typifies the beast-character in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider). He is like Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire (T. Williams), emotional and manly. Physical solutions come naturally to him, as we see when he mistreats his ex-girlfriend. Ideally, society is exactly the opposite; law and order attempt to solve things fairly and justly. I propose that Meursault is somewhere between these two extremes and that this is the reason why he is a societal outcast....   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Better Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Camus' The Stranger: Meursault's Apathy Essay

- The Minimalist Life has been defined as the property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism. Further, that very definition from the Webster's dictionary says nothing when it comes to the everyday experiences one faces throughout a lifetime. The experiences one faces makes, breaks, and shapes us into how we act and live....   [tags: European Literature]

Free Essays
1383 words (4 pages)