Meursault's Indifference in The Stranger, by Albert Camus Essay

Meursault's Indifference in The Stranger, by Albert Camus Essay

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In The Stranger, Albert Camus allows the main character to tell the story in order to give the reader an experience of his own. Obviously, with a novel also comes language, which Camus incorporates cleverly as a way to indirectly illustrate Meursault’s thoughts about certain situations. Although the novel represents a postmodern setting, the author shifts the overall meaning. In The Stranger, Camus applies a unique literary style as a power that deflects blame from Meursault, the antiheroic character. In order to disclaim the fault of Meursault, Camus incorporates several instances in which he leaves a greater sense of authority to nonliving objects, while further drawing attention away from the main character. Based on the implication of personification, the addition of simple sentence structure versus more complex sentences, and the integration of passive voice, Camus demonstrates the importance of this passage of the novel to the reader, while also comparing it to the rest of the book.
Meursault gives simple nonliving objects authority as a way of excusing himself for his negative actions. At the point where Meursault goes back for the Arab, he consistently sets everything in place – everything besides himself. Beginning with the first sentence of the passage, Meursault realizes that he can overcome the situation simply by turning around and walking away. However, he refrains from finding fault with himself, and turns it back to the beach as “the whole beach, throbbing in the sun, [is] pressing on [his] back” (Camus 59). Because he gives the beach control over an actual living object, Meursault continues with his actions. Not only does he deflect blame from himself, but he also desists from turning completely against the Ar...


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...n Meursault’s part when he shifts away from passive voice and tells the story in a way that mirrors the unfortunate events that he took part in initiating.
In conclusion, Camus’s glorification of language demonstrates Meursault’s attempt to blame the blameless throughout the negative events of The Stranger. Through the personification of nonliving objects, the juxtaposition of Camus’s simple sentences with his complex ones when describing objects with fault, and the incorporation of passive voice, Camus makes it possible to deflect blame from the antihero. This passage of the novel assists in creating the attitude of the character throughout the rest of the story, while also attempting to explain the situations and reasoning toward the beginning of it.



Works Cited

Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Vintage International,

1988.

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