In The Stranger, Albert Camus misleadingly portrays his existentialistic views of life, death, and the world. Camus portrays the world as absurd or without purpose Meaursalt, who, as a reflection of Camus, is foreign and indifferent to his own life and death. Meaursalt eventually senses guilt for his crime, not because of the remorse of taking someone else’s life, but because it means he would lose the little things that he considers important in his life. Meaursalt is a puzzling character, who leaves readers to be uncertain about Camus’ views of life.
Meaursalt is a simple and ordinary man living in French Morocco. Neither intellectual nor emotional, when his mother died, he did not feel or show any sorrow. He is a character rather distracted by his surrounding, such as people walking by and nature. He would feel much irritation whenever the sun would shine red and bright. On a thoughtless walk on the beach, he ends up killing an Arab (who had a hostile relationship with his friend) for no apparent reason, but because his [Arab] blade light reflected by the sun. In addition, for no good reason he shoots four more times, the body lying on the ground. He is tried in court, during which he feels he is his own spectator. Meaursalt gets convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Before execution, he feels guilt for the first time because he would miss the simple things in life. However, he is never scared to die, because for him death comes eventually. Just before the execution, a chaplain tries to make him believe in God, but Meaursalt angrily defends his atheistic views.
Meaursalt is an uncommon character that prefers simpl...
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...t sure whether to say it is objective or subjective. The novel itself is a puzzle to me and I’m not in any pursuit to figure it out. I’m not refusing to, but I find no point in doing so. The same way Meaursalt treats life as meaningless, I treat it the same way, but that life is meaningful. We don’t need to go searching too hard that in the process we give up on life, as I see Meaursalt as. I think you could have a meaningful life without knowing the meaning. I can’t accept Meaursalt’s values, because I do believe in a God and an afterlife. That is the difference between him and me. I would not recommend this book to anybody who is in the process of soul searching. It is a confusing yet an unique story to be regarded only as Camus’ point of view of life.
Camus, Albert. The Stranger, trans. Mathew Ward. New York: Random House, Inc., 1988.
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