“Meursault is punished, not for his crime of killing another human being but for refusing to play the game.” This statement is of great relevance to the novel The Outsider, by Albert Camus. Society as a whole enforces its ideas and values, upon all individuals, but particularly on those who differ from the “norm”. Through Meursault’s view of the world, contrasted with that of both the religious and judicial system this notion is foregrounded.
Meursault’s outlook on death and dying is very different to that of the majority of people at the time. He was unemotional and indifferent to the death of his mother, something that was unfathomable and by no means acceptable. “…I didn’t know if I could smoke in front of mother. I thought it over and decided it didn’t really matter.” This is a classic train of thought for Meursault, he believes that when you are dead, then you really are dead, so smoking or not smoking will make no difference to the deceased. “I probably loved my mother my mother quite a lot, but that didn’t mean anything.” He accepts his mother is dead, and that his love means nothing to her, in fact, nothing means anything to her. These ideas were deplorable according to his societies standards and Euro-centric value system. “He said that I hadn’t wanted to see mother; that I’d smoked, I’d slept and I’d had some white coffee. And I felt something stirring up the whole room; for the first time I realised I was guilty.” This quote is a key aspect of the foundation philosophy in the novel. Meursault realises, at that moment, that he is on trial for killing a man, but he will be found culpable of the charge not for killing a human being but for the simple reason that he did not play ...
... middle of paper ...
... hearts when I knew nothing of the most basic human reactions.” This is a quote by the Public Prosecutor, both a religious and lawful man. Through Meursault’s expression of ideas and feelings, he is clearly capable of emotion and human instinct, yet because he does not abide by the rules he is condemned by a society, which fears him, for his difference. Meursault refuses to believe in God, he refuses to succumb to the dominant ideology of his time, he refuses to play the game and for this he is punished.
Meursault was brought to trial for killing another human being, yet he was convicted and punished for refusing to “play the game.” He did not adhere to the rules nor did he try to change himself to better fit the world in which he lived. As the magistrate said, and essentially, in societies eyes he was “Mr. Antichrist” and for this he was condemned to death.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
651 words (1.9 pages)
- Finding a Rational God through Nature in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider) Turning towards nature for fulfillment, The Stranger’s Meursault rejects the ideology of God as a savior and is consequently juxtaposed against Jesus Christ’s martyrdom, Christianity and the infamous crucifixion. To the inexperienced reader, Meursault appears to be an extreme atheist. Later in Albert Camus’ novel, he is revealed as a humanistic soul that’s in touch with the universality of the earth and soil he treads upon.... [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]
3485 words (10 pages)
- The Absurd Heroes Of The Stranger (The Outsider) and The Myth of Sisyphus In The Myth of Sisyphus, Sisyphus is an absurd hero because he realizes his situation, does not appeal, and yet continues the struggle. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that The Stranger is, in narrative style, also showing us an absurd hero, or the beginning of an absurd hero in Meursault. In The Myth of Sisyphus Camus establishes the epistemology on which he bases all his works. Ant it's a very simple epistemology.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1067 words (3 pages)
- Apathy in The Stranger (Outsider) Often times an author incorporates a thought or philosophy into a work that can shape or reshape the attitude emitted from the novel. In Albert Camus', The Stranger, the Existential philosophy that the author fills into the work give an aura of apathy. With the opening lines of "Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure," Camus immediately sets a tone of indifference (1). Though the protagonist, Mersault, is not completely without cares, the overall attitude of passiveness he has toward himself, as well as toward others, give the entire novel a tone of apathy.... [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]
574 words (1.6 pages)
- Conformity in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider) Camus' novel The Stranger presents the character of Meursault who, after killing an Arab, is sentenced to death. This conflict portrays the stark contrast between the morals of society and Meursault's evident lack of them; he is condemned to death, less for the Arab's murder, than for refusing to conform to society's standards. Meursault is an anomaly in society; he cannot relate directly to others because he does not live as they do. Meursault is simplistic, even detached; he speaks of his mother's death without regret for her loss, merely stating: "Maman died today." He goes on to mention that perhaps it was yesterday - he is not sure... [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]
860 words (2.5 pages)
- Reader Response Criticism to Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider) In The Stranger (The Outsider), Albert Camus anticipates an active reader that will react to his text. He wants the reader to form a changing, dynamic opinion of Meursault. The reader can create a consciousness for Meursault from the facts that Meursault reports. By using vague and ambiguous language, Camus stimulates the reader to explore all possibilities of meaning. Camus also intends to shock the reader into rereading passages.... [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]
2242 words (6.4 pages)
- World Without Purpose in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider) 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.... [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]
1754 words (5 pages)
- 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]
2000 words (5.7 pages)
- 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]
852 words (2.4 pages)
- 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]
688 words (2 pages)
- A Comparison of the Heroes Of The Stranger (The Outsider) and The Myth of Sisyphus
- slaverybel Morrison’s Beloved as Chronicle of Slavery?
- Essay on The Holy Bible - The Nature of God in the Genesis
- Free Essays on The Stranger (The Outsider): Relationships
- Analyzing Wilbur’s Orchard Trees, January
- deatharms Dealing with Death in Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms