No matter how hard people try there is always one question that can never be answered: what is the meaning of life? For the protagonist, in Albert Camus 1942 novel The Stranger, there is no purpose of life. To Meursault nothing will matter so he lives a simple life with simple needs. His life changes when he meets Raymond and ends up killing someone on the beach. In the next part he is on trial for his murder and eventually convicted and sentenced to death. Meursault is and absurdist. He doesn’t want anything out of life because he find out that nothing matters and everyone is going to die anyways. Although throughout the story Meursault fights with this idea throughout the novel and goes back and forth over it he eventually uses it to find peace in his death. Meursault’s confrontation with absurdity throughout the novel leads him to freedom.
The indifference of Meursault shows to everyone that he doesn’t care about life because of the absurdity of it. Throughout the story Meursault defines his lack of caring by doing whatever other people want from him. Like when he “didn’t have anything to do, so [he] left and followed [Marie] for a while”(43).To base a decision on what someone else thinks is to show that you don’t care about your life. It doesn’t matter what happens or doesn’t because everyone is going to die. This idea of the Absurd leads Meursault to have no ambition about life. He is fine where he is because “[he] couldn’t see any reason to change [his] life”(43) From an Absurd point of view it doesn’t matter if you die rich or poor. You can also see his indifference because he shows no emotion throughout the first part of the novel. Everything say is observing and he even states that “[his] physical need...
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...and sure of the death [he] had waiting for [him]”(120). The battle with the absurd throughout the book ended when he accepted absurdism. He searched, doubtedly, to see if there was a meaning life and came to the conclusion that there is none.
While it seems that the protagonist, in the Camus novel The Stranger, seems to have no feelings and no ambition in life he does. Throughout the story Meursault faces the constant battle of his beliefs with the Absurd. The ideas of the Absurd originated with Soren Kierkegaard. This idea has two major principles. They are the human quest to seek the meaning of life and the inability to find it. The author of the novel, Camus, then goes on to add that humans should embrace the absurd condition, as Meursault did in the story. The meaning of life has always been sought out, but if it is ever discovered then we would have no purpose.
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