Existentialism in The Stranger (The Outsider)

Existentialism in The Stranger (The Outsider)

Length: 549 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Existentialism in The Stranger


        Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes a few main points,

such as the freedom to choose and the choices you make should be made

without the assistance of another person or standard.  From the

existentialist point of view you must accept the risk and responsibility of

your choices and follow the commitment to wherever it leads.  Someone that

is put in a particular situation understands it far more than someone

looking in on that same situation, one commonly used situation that appears

often in existentialist writing is that of death.  The existentialist

should learn to accept death when the time has to come and should know that

the most important questions in life are not accessible to reason or

science.  Acting on your own experiences is essential in arriving at the

truth and "man is condemned to be free. (Sartre)"


      There were two parts in The Stranger that helped me better

understand existentialism the most.  One part of the novel that helped me

to understand existentialism better was when Meursault shot the Arab on the

beach and how he handled the situation afterwards.  The Arab had drawn his

knife and held it up to Meursault, but this wasn't what bothered him, it

was the light from the sun that shot off the Arabs knife, and the intense

heat along with the salt from his sweat in his eyes that was bothering him.

Meursault shot the Arab mainly because he was uncomfortable and not because

he felt threatened, but in any case he made the decision to shoot him.  In

the next chapter Meursault can't understand why he would need an attorney

for his case because it's simple to him, he had murdered a man and was now

ready to pay the consequences.  He had made a choice that might not have

been the right one but he accepted it and was ready to go through with his

decision to wherever it would lead.


      The other part in The Stranger that helped me to understand

existentialism better was at the end of the novel when Meursault is

sentenced to death.  I don't think Meursault was an existentialist but I do

think that he faced death the way an existentialist would have.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Existentialism in The Stranger (The Outsider)." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Oct 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Camus’ The Stranger (The Outsider): Conformity

- Conformity in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider) Camus' novel The Stranger presents the character of Meursault who, after killing an Arab, is sentenced to death. This conflict portrays the stark contrast between the morals of society and Meursault's evident lack of them; he is condemned to death, less for the Arab's murder, than for refusing to conform to society's standards. Meursault is an anomaly in society; he cannot relate directly to others because he does not live as they do. Meursault is simplistic, even detached; he speaks of his mother's death without regret for her loss, merely stating: "Maman died today." He goes on to mention that perhaps it was yesterday - he is not sure...   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Research Papers
860 words (2.5 pages)

Comparing Kafka's Metamorphosis and The Stranger (The Outsider) Essay

- The Metamorphosis and The Stranger (The Outsider)   Existentialism is defined as a philosophical movement that human beings are completely free and responsible for their own actions.  Existentialists will try not to cause waves and remain completely uninvolved with anyone because they do not want to hurt anybody.   There is absolutely no such thing as an existentialist because he would have to be so uninvolved to the point where he would not be able to live at all.  Although the two stories: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and The Stranger by Albert Camus are very different in approach, their endings are similar in that they both support the basics of existentialism.              The...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
481 words (1.4 pages)

Essay about The Character of Meursault in The Stranger (The Outsider)

- The Character of Meursault in The Stranger Albert Camus wrote The Stranger during the Existentialist movement, which explains why the main character in the novel, Meursault, is characterized as detached and emotionless, two of the aspects of existentialism. In Meursault, Camus creates a character he intends his readers to relate to, because he creates characters placed in realistic situations. He wants the reader to form a changing, ambiguous opinion of Meursault. From what Meursault narrates to the reader in the novel, the reader can understand why he attempts to find order and understanding in a confused and mystifying world....   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Free Essays
1236 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Existentialism in The Stranger by Albert Camus

- Originally released in French, The Stranger by Albert Camus (published in 1942) follows the story of Meursault whom is a French man living in Algeria prior to the 2nd World War and gives his own unique perspective of the events between when he receives a telegram stating that his mother had recently pass away to when he is executed for the murder of a man only referred to as “The Arab” whom he had shot. Meursault had an interesting outlook on life and it is unclear why he feels the way he does but his tone is constantly detached, plain, and at times subtly ironic....   [tags: Dettachment, Reality]

Research Papers
529 words (1.5 pages)

Choice and Individual Freedom in The Stranger (The Outsider) Essay

- Choice and Individual Freedom in The Stranger Camus's The Stranger is a grim profession that choice and individual freedom are integral components of human nature, and the commitment and responsibility that accompany these elements are ultimately the deciding factors of the morality of one's existence. Meursault is placed in an indifferent world, a world that embraces absurdity and persecutes reason; such is the nature of existentialist belief, that rationalization and logic are ultimately the essence of humanity, and that societal premonitions and an irrelevant status quo serve only to perpetuate a false sense of truth....   [tags: Camus Stranger Essays]

Free Essays
442 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about The Stranger

- The Stranger In the book "The Stranger," the main character, Meursault, is a stranger to himself, and to life. Meursault is a person who is emotionally and physically detached from the world. He seemingly cares only about himself, but at the same time could be concerned little about what happens to him. The title, "the Stranger," could indicate Meursault's disconnection and indifference to the world that surrounds him and, therefore, his role as a stranger in the book. The title could also imply that he is simply a stranger to experiencing emotion and expressing feeling: that he is detached from himself and doesn't know what it means to be a human....   [tags: English Literature Essays]

Research Papers
1285 words (3.7 pages)

Absurdity: An Essay On The Stranger

- An Essay on… The Stranger; The Absurd "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all And in the Darkness bind them" (Lord of the Rings Volume II, The Council of Elrond) Within the Stranger, Albert Camus brought up many questions and a few answers. He created an outsider to society and showed us how he lived, Meursault. Meursault was always indifferent. Meursault accepted death. Why. Meursault saw the purpose of life meaningless. That is “Absurdity”....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
663 words (1.9 pages)

The Grief of Existentialist in Albert Camus’s Work of Fiction, "The Stranger"

- Albert Camus’s work of fiction, The Stranger, explores the life of a French man known as Meursault after his mother dies of old age. Meursault does not feel grief for his mothers death as he believes that doing so is pointless since he, as well as Camus himself, is an atheist and an existentialist. As such, he doesn’t concern himself with traditional emotions and beliefs and is instead only concerned with the physical world around him and his physical interactions with it. This is best exemplified when comparing the novels opening paragraph, “Maman died today....   [tags: Albert Camus, Stranger, Grief, Existentialism, ]

Research Papers
707 words (2 pages)

The Hero in The Stranger by Albert Camus Essay

- The Hero in Camus’s The Stranger (The Outsider) Certain novels include a character who, based solely on his actions, would appear to be evil, but in an in-depth examination, can be seen in a different, more sympathetic light. The character Meursault, in Albert Camus’s The Stranger, is notable for this description. While his murderous crime and indifference to emotions make him seem to be cretinous, his dramatic transformation at the end of the story make us feel for him. When he finally grasps the theme of the book, embracing the “gentle indifference” of the universe, he also grabs our hearts, in becoming an “absurd” hero....   [tags: The Stranger The Outsider]

Research Papers
772 words (2.2 pages)

The Value of Life in The Stranger by Albert Camus Essay

- The Value of Life in Camus' The Stranger (The Outsider) In Albert Camus' existentialist novel “The Stranger,”the alienation of Meursault from society conveys to the reader the theme of the novel: In light of the lack of a higher deity, all promise of value rests in life itself. To express this theme, Camus develops Meursault’s persona, satirizes many institutions, alludes to religion, and creates many moral and ethical questions. The universal nature of these questions reveal why “The Stranger” remains relevant to society....   [tags: The Stranger The Outsider]

Research Papers
740 words (2.1 pages)

Related Searches

  When the

time came for Meursault to go he was well prepared.  On the last page

Meursault said, "I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again."

For him there was no difference between life and death, everything was the

same to him such as when Marie asked if he would marry her and he said it

didn't matter and that it was up to her.  For the first time in the whole

book he realizes what his mother felt before she died, only because he was

put in the same situation.  This point really helps me to understand

existentialism because throughout the whole book his mother's death had

absolutely no meaning to him at all but now when he is put in the same

situation, facing death, he finally realizes what it must have been like

for her and for the first time in the whole story thinks about her feelings.

 He is ready to die, and is looking forward to being less alone.
Return to 123HelpMe.com