The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay

The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay

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Themes appear in almost every form of literature. In Albert Camus’s The Stranger there are multiple different themes that could be interpreted. The theme that installs itself right when the book starts and stays relevant until the last page is isolation.

A scholarly recourse taken from Journal of Health and Social Behavior explains the indicators of social isolation including “living alone, having a small social network, infrequent participation in social activities, and feelings of loneliness” All of these except the last one are traits of Meursault. He lives alone, only has a few friends, and does not attend social activities.

Camus shows this theme very early. He establishes Meursault as an outsider in the first few pages of the book. He begins by informing you that Meursault’s mother had recently passed away. It shows how he does not have the ability to feel as normal humans do. He spends more time focused on physical characteristics than he does on people’s feelings and emotional contents. He is polite, but lacks empathy. These traits are shown throughout the entire book.
In a scholarly source taken from Companion of the World Novel the writer tells you about Meursault’s traits “Camus shows him as a typical young man. He works as a clerk, lives in an apartment, and draws little or no attention to himself. He possesses no unique physical characteristics. Outwardly, he appears extremely ordinary. Examined more closely, Mersault 's character becomes problematic. He lacks deep convictions and passion, and he is devoid of ambitions and dreams. He offers little reflection on his life or the world around him.”

His lack of feeling and emotion leads him to be different than the other people. Early in the book Meursault is asked ...


... middle of paper ...


...ence of the world. Finding it so much like myself – so like a brother, really – I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again.” (122-123). Whereas earlier Meursault felt isolated from the world, he has now formed a friendship with the world. Because he is indifferent and so is the world, they find kinship through this similarity.

All together, from the very beginning to the very end The Stranger focuses on Meursault’s isolation from society, from friends, his lover, emotion, God, and eventually from logic. The isolation is self prescribed, Meursault is not exiled, he separates himself because that is the easiest path. At first he doesn’t think that it is his choice but by the end of the novel, he realizes that he possesses the ability to choose. He becomes conscious of his own ability to decide whether he wants a big crowd or is he wants to be left alone.

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