The Lover by Marguerite Duras and "The Stranger" by Albert Camus

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The plot is an absurdist tale about Meursault, a French Christian. When his mother dies, he attends her funeral without shedding a tear. Furthermore, for the next two weeks, he goes about his business as if nothing had happened (Camus 34). Following that, he acquires a new girlfriend and a pimp at the same time, and takes both of them on vacation. He is challenged by two Arabs on his trip. Fighting erupts, and he kills one of them. While in court he doesn’t care about the verdict to execute him (Bloom 13). In fact, he denounces Christianity and declares the world as a meaningless place with no rational order. He looks forward to his execution with the affirmation that life is a meaningless and ridiculous mantra. On close reading of the article, Camus uses a combination of situational and structural irony. For instance, Mersaault does not grief about his mother’s death but shoots the Arab. Irony is expressed by his sentiments: “For a second I had the ridiculous idea that they were there to judge.”

Themes, ideas and values

The theme in the book is attached to the resonance of Albert’s philosophical notion of absurdity. The author asserts that humans’ lives generally have no rational meaning or order. As a result lack of understanding of this concept, humans constantly identify with a certain created rational structure (Bloom 18). The second theme that the book delves into is the idea that human life is meaningless. Campus gradually elaborates this idea throughout the concept by explaining that humans will eventually meet death and therefore life is equally meaningless.

Contextual evidence

Camus’ cultural setting is drawn from the belief of non-existence of a superhuman being: God. He emphasizes on positive optimism whereby humans are responsible in civilizing the world rather than relying a on an ‘immortal being’ (Camus 15)

Theoretical approach

Camus use a meticulous theoretical approach that involves a shift in diction and sentence structure across the book. In the first part he makes use short and concise sentences while in the second part he employs the use of higher vocabulary and long sentences. More so, in the first part, the tone is indifferent and detached from the character’s life (Camus 12). However, in the second part, Meursault incorporates emotion and thoughts.

The Lover" by Marguerite Duras

The book is a narration of a nameless girl who is presumed to be the protagonist. On return to her family home from Holiday, she is using a ferry to cross the Mekong Delta (Duras 8). She is portrayed in the story as tender and naïve with nubile allure. From the onset of the story, she is drawn as a girl who is always sad because of lack of tender love from her mother’s side.

In the novel, each line is like a thread interconnected by a prose crochet, which ultimately reveals the implicit possibilities of the two ill-fated lovers living happily ever after. The book is not presented in a chronological manner and it is based on a random collection of memories, feelings and dreams. Principally, the author seeks to deliver the point that individuals can rapidly collect events of the past and mix them with the surrounding conditions.

Contextual evidence

Contextual evidence delves into the meaning of the article itself. The book is a deeply emotional and subtle story about the power of love and erotic desires, as well the psychological fights of a young girl who has little girl with no idea about relations between men and women. It a setting of a tumultuous affair between a poor teenage French girl ‘dating’ a wealthy and older Chinese lover (Cismaru 34). It is based on the psychological setting and effects of the young woman of French origin.

Theoretical Approach

The primary theoretical approach used is autonomous analysis with a combination with existing theories, in a bid to explain the complexities and difficulties of the young lover. The approach is a strategy involving switching back and forth in time. More so, the narrator uses a detached fragmented voice which highlights the emotional and psychological paradox in the story.

Themes, Ideals, and Values

The theme in the story is tied to unachievable masculinity. The common word used in the story is ‘desire.’ However, it is easy to be drawn to sexual desire, but actually, the young girl is only drawn to the Chinese guy with the desire to support her family using his wealth (Duras 28).

Points of Contrast

Marguerite Duras uses a technique of shifting the plot back and forth through time. More so, the plot is interconnected from the first paragraph onwards (Duras 76). On the other hand, campus moves from a low to a high by use of tonal variation and sentence structuring. In comparison, both stories have a borderline between fact and fiction. More so, they make use of irony as explained in the story. Also, both stories employ the use of French characters.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. Albert Camus's the Stranger. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2011. Print.

Camus, Albert, and Matthew Ward. The Stranger. , 1989. Print.

Cismaru, Alfred. Marguerite Duras. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1971. Print.

Duras, Marguerite, and Mark Polizzotti. The Lover. Cambridge, Mass: Lumen Editions, 1998. Print.

May 10, 2023




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