The Stranger Essay

The Stranger Essay

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While reading The Stranger I noticed that traits that Albert Camus character depicts in the book are closely related to the theories of Sigmund Freud on moral human behavior. Albert Camus portrays his character of Meursault as a numb, emotionless person that seems to mindlessly play out his role in society, acting in a manner that he sees as the way he’s supposed to act, always living in the moment with his instincts driving him, and if the right circumstance presents itself the primal deep seeded animal will come out. I believe that most of the character’s traits fall under Freud’s notion of the Id and Ego mental apparatus, and don’t believe that his idea of the super-ego is represented in this book.
In the beginning of The Stranger Meursault first showed himself as a numb, emotionless person, who goes through the motions of life simply driven by his instincts when he attended his mother’s funeral. When at the funeral he showed no emotion whatsoever, here his mother lies dead and he should be grieving, yet all he really notices is how hot the room was they were holding the funeral in. He didn’t even wish to see her body before she was buried to say his goodbyes. This shows me that he has no moral bind to anyone or anything, and the only feelings he has is those given to him from primal instinct, of which are just needed for survival like being hungry, tired, hot, and so on. Freud would say that’s depicts how all humans are. According to James Strachey, Freud believes that the way we as humans conduct ourselves throughout our lives is directly related to the Id, which is everything that is inherited from our ancestors and is fixed into us at berth, and it’s the force caused by the need of our Id that is our instincts (14...


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...he Stranger. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1946. Print.
Costigan, Giovanni. Sigmund Freud, a Short Biography. New York: Macmillan, 1965. Print.
"Freud's Personality Factors." Changing Minds and Persuasion -- How We Change What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Do. Web. 02 Dec. 2011. .
Freud, Sigmund, and James Strachey. An Outline of Psychoanalysis. New York: W. W. Norton, 1949. Print.
Freud, Sigmund, and James Strachey. The Ego and the Id. New York: Norton, 1989. Print
Freud, Sigmund, James Strachey, and Peter Gay. An Outline of Psycho-analysis. New York: W.W. Norton, 1989. Print.
"Superego." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. .
"The Stranger." SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. .

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