Analysis of "The Stranger" by Albert Camus

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Albert Camus' novel The Stranger is characterized by the philosophy of the absurd and existentialism. Part one of the novel outlines Meursault's discovery of his mother's passing, and at the service, he expresses little remorse nor tells the reader about the attendees. Later in the book, he bumps into Marie, a former employee of his company. The two become friends and even go swimming together before starting a romantic relationship. Following the funeral, he helps Raymond in locating a girlfriend accused of infidelity. The second part Meursault is taken to prison, and he provides an explanation of the arrest while in jail. His general impartiality makes surviving in prison extremely acceptable, particularly after he got used to the awareness of being controlled and incapable of having sex with Marie. Most of the time, he spends sleeping and listing the things he had in his apartment. His quietness makes the prosecutor explains that he was guilty and remorseful of his actions. Meursault meets with a chaplain before his prosecution but rejects the idea of returning to God.

The story is mainly subjective because the story is said from Meursault point of view, and he presents the story as he feels and thinks. Even though the character is observant, he does not attempt to understand the other characters introduced in the story. The story moves from description mixed with self-examination to only thoughtful recounting as the plot unfolds. The personal tone makes the author creates a feeling of sympathy to Meursault, which later develops to unsympathetic feeling and finally tender feeling towards the main character.

The stranger is described as an existentialism novel, and existentialism means that there is no higher meaning to the universe or man’s existence, and there is no rational order of things in the world. Existentialism appears all through the novel to expose the true nature of human beings. The author uses absurdum to present Meursault’s understanding of the worthless of individual life. Existentialism appears when Meursault kills the Arab using Raymond's pistol one of the Arabs pulls his knife and retains it up to Meursault. Meursault is not bothered by Arab's intimidating behavior. He shot the Arab because he was uncomfortable and not because of the intimidation (Camus, 59). Meursault is a good example of existentialism whereby he displays the issues of radical individualism, this explains why he was found guilty, and he was persecuted. Radical individualism puts the rights of an individual over those of the society, and it contributes to the separation of the person from the society, and this is what happens to Meursault in the novel.

In the novel, the courtroom symbolizes the entire society and the laws are made to function as the will of people, and the jury represents the entire community. Camus strengthens the courtroom by making nearly all the minor characters to act as witnesses in the court. The court tries to make a logical description for Meursault’s offense symbolize humankind’s efforts to find right clarifications for the illogical events of the world.

Irony occurred in the stranger when Meursault got involved in a dispute that had nothing to do with his life. He started by writing a letter to Raymond and Raymond wanted his girlfriend back to punish her for what had happened. Meursault found himself fighting the girl's brother who was an Arab. Meursault ended killing the Arab man even though it was Raymond who was meant to kill him.

The title of the novel is significance because the tile plays a significant role in the development of the plot through many characters that were strangers to one another all through the novel. For instance, Meursault’s mother is a stranger before his eyes. Even though they lived together, both lived a different life from each other.

Finally, the events that were happening in Meursault life made him to question the environment of the world and his place in it. The story is presented into two parts and every part appears to be reflecting the big level the activities happening in every part of the story. Curious parallels are presented all through the novel and they indicate the emotional state of the character. Meursault is an average person who rarely talks because he does not have anything to say because he feels that resisting a command is a bother and it is not worth it to resist any commands.

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Work Cited

McCarthy, Patrick. Albert Camus, the Stranger. Cambridge. Cambridgeshire: Cambridge

University Press, 1988.

August 31, 2021

Life Literature

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