Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3

Are Meursault in Camus' The Outsider and Antigone in Anouilh's Antigone both victims of society and also free agents who choose their own fate?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Are Meursault in Camus' The Outsider and Antigone in Anouilh's Antigone both victims of society and also free agents who choose their own fate? Both Meursault and Antigone are the protagonists in their stories. They have much in common, such as the fact that they explain their impending deaths as decided by fate, even though each seems to have an easy way of surviving. Both are willing to die for what they believe is right. The concept of fate is quite different between the texts. In Antigone, a Chorus tells you at the beginning of the play that Antigone will die. Antigone uses the excuse of fate to explain her own death to Creon, where as in The Outsider fate is much more subtle. First I will look at The Outsider and Meursault. Albert Camus wrote this novel as a challenge against the death penalty and the society that imposes it. It reflects his existential philosophy including how we do not trust people that are different, that society would rather hear lies then the truth if the truth makes them uncomfortable, and that people with different views to the majority are persecuted. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that Meursault was a free agent who made the mistake of having the wrong friends. Possibly the most important passage in the novel is when Meursault kills the Arab on the beach. He took Raymond's gun from him to prevent him from murdering the Arab in an argument, when he went for a walk later with the gun in his pocket he met the Arab again. During his walk he describes the pain and discomfort the sun causes him "The heat was pushing full against me as I tried to walk". He finds the Arab in the only shade on the beach, which draws him closer, the descriptions of the heat and light are very painful "All I could feel were the cymbals the sun was clashing against my forehead and, indistinctly, the dazzling spear still leaping up off the knife in front of me". The language used in this passage is very elaborate compared to the short sentences usually used, stressing the importance of this passage. To the readers, it seems as though the hot sun is the only reason Meursault has to kill the Arab. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Antigone and Creon's argument, Creon is persuaded that Antigone is destined to die, and he tries to persuade Heamon of that. Creon says "Death was her purpose, whether she knew it or not". Heamon however is very stubborn and never accepts that Antigone is fated to die, that is why when Antigone's body is found Heamon kills himself while Creon does not cry or mourn over anyone he has lost. Whether or not death is Antigone's destiny is argued by all the individual characters, each arguing only for the side that benefits themselves. The Chorus argues for fate to justify it's existence, Creon argues for it to justify his decision to have Antigone executed, Heamon argues against it because he wants Antigone to live on. These two stories rely on inevitability to draw attention away from the storyline, and bring the focus onto the issues they raise. Camus wished to persuade people that the death penalty was unjust and wrong, while Anouilh wanted to encourage a sense of rebellion among the people of occupied France during World War 2. In The Outsider and in Antigone both of the main characters believe that they are destined to die, becoming martyrs for their author's causes. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Classics essays

  1. The Play reproduced by Jean Anouilh, Antigone, was first performed in 1942 Paris

    The French citizens would have hated the idea of this government and feel betrayed, as Antigone does, by their fellow People. The French citizens would have acceded with Antigone and hated the Vichy Government as they were passive and turned a blind eye to the harm and destruction in the Country.

  2. A Raisin in the Sun: Summary and Analysis

    Mama uses the money to help her family and does not even think about investing it to make more. She has no value for money, just the happiness of her family. Mama buys a house for the Younger family and gives the remaining money to Walter to disperse for himself

  1. Antigone: Divine Law vs. Human Law

    human law. Sometimes it is not possible or feasible to obey and follow both of these sets of laws, unwritten or not. Now, let's view this situation regarding King Creon's side of the conflict. There is not much "right" on the side of Creon throughout the play.

  2. Science case study

    Passive smoking increases the risk of respiratory illnesses for children by 72%. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/medical_notes/3235820.stm) -This information is reliable as it comes from a well known website and also this information comes from an article all about smoking. - Who smokes in the UK?

  1. Throughout the play 'Antigone' there is a constant emphasis on the use and abuse ...

    as I see it, divine law that would be the most important as it governs human law no matter what their positions in society Antigone was right to bury Polynices and Creon was wrong from the point of proclamation of his law.

  2. 'Both Antigone and Creon deserve our sympathy'. Discuss.

    He ignores the good advice of the prophet, assuming he too has been bribed. Creon says: "You and the whole breed of seers are mad for money" and calls his prophecies a lie. His short temper and highly suspicious mind lessen our opinion of Creon.

  1. Choose such a scene from 'Antigone' and explain what makes it dramatic.

    Although Antigone is to get married, she still acts young and vulnerable, and needs to have the nurse picking up after her. This is particularly noticeable when the nurse starts crying, due to the frustration of Antigone´s actions. Antigone admits that she feels like a child again.

  2. Albert Camus created Meursault as the protagonist of The Outsider in order to illustrate ...

    Hence, Meursault's D 0998 039 every action 'threatens to engulf'2 a carefully structured society, and society feels the need to eliminate him. By refusing to lie to justify murdering the Arab, Meursault rejects the social norm of fighting for one's life no matter what it takes.

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.