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

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

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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. Meursault just dies.

So it is hard to see the link. If, however, we are to take Camus seriously, we need to push hard on this comparison. Christ lived his life along an orchestrated plan. At the garden of Gethsimede, Christ looks to heaven and asks that “this cup be taken from me.” Later, he recants and continues along his preordained path to crucifixion. Meursault never gets that chance. Instead of the hand of God or Fate pushing him inexorably forward, he chooses Chance. Chance put him on the floor with ...

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