The Stranger By Arthur Camus Essay

The Stranger By Arthur Camus Essay

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There are over seven billion people in the world, all different, yet all the same, each living their life in unique ways, yet all heading to the same place. Each day hundreds of thousands of people are born and hundreds of thousands of people die, every birth a meaningless miracle and each death an insignificant tragedy. Humans are the most influential species in the universe that we know of, and yet we barely impact anything. So what is the meaning of life? Or is life just senseless? In The Stranger, Arthur Camus explores the idea that no matter how an individual lives his or her life, the same fate awaits as that facing any other individual who may have lived life in a completely different manner. Therefore, a person should never try to repress feelings or feign emotions in order to satisfy social constructs such as religion, romance, and friendship. Camus reveals this theme through both Meursault and Raymond’s behaviors. Both men’s actions are products of how they want to live. They never let the expectations of others impact their behavior. This is most evident when Meursault is actually facing his own death.
While Meursault is certainly not a hero, people who stand up for their beliefs are to be admired. Meursault is certainly a model of a person who cannot be swayed by the opinion of others and remains true to himself, so oddly he is to be admired. Although he hears what others are saying, he only truly listens to himself. Meursault is honest and independent (taking responsibility for his actions). In the face of his independence, and probably because of it, he is constantly being told that he is not living properly. At Maman’s funeral, his own mother’s, the caretaker tells Meursault that “we put the cover on [the cas...


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...tuation, it is not. From the beginning Meursault accepted that he was going to die just like everyone else, and because he believed it did not matter how he lived his life, he was able to live it according to how he wanted.
There are no “heros” in The Stranger. There are just a people. People that are completely unlike anyone else, yet the same, living their own life in a unique way, and yet heading to the same place. Camus shows us in The Stranger that it does not matter how we live our lives because in the end it does not change anything. All that is waiting for us is death. Most people are unaware or will not accept this truth and are restrained from actually living. However, there are some who have noticed and accepted it and are free to live how they want to live. Camus posits that the meaning of life is much more simple than we think it is; it is just living.

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