• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

    This is truly a tragedy, and this never would've happened if only King Creon hadn't made up the law that nobody could bury Polyneices because he was a traitor. There was much conflict in this play, particularly between Antigone and Creon, over the matter of divine law vs. human law.

  2. Science case study

    * Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. About 25,000 people in the UK die each year from this serious lung disease. More than 8 in 10 of these deaths are directly linked to smoking. People who die of COPD are usually quite unwell for several years before they die.

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

    He turns on her, saying: "You! In my own house, you viper, slinking undetected, sucking my life-blood!". Such cruel words seem unnecessary and repellent. The way he talks to Antigone is perhaps even worse. He says: "The stiffest stubborn wills fall the hardest; the toughest iron, tempered and strong in

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

    I believe that we must regard Antigone's divine laws highly however, I also believe that the laws set by men should be acknowledged and obeyed, with obvious unjustifiable exceptions such as Creon's proclamation in this play. If divine and human law were put into the scales of importance it is,

  1. How important are the concepts of destiny and fate and the role of the ...

    Whether your wife, Creusa, and your son, Ascanius, are alive?" Venus then make what is, arguably, the biggest intervention by any of the gods, throughout the entire Aeneid; she orders him to leave Troy, an action that is completely against his own will.

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

    The whole ordeal seems terrifying. Antigone states that they are bound to die. Ismene acts much more maturely and considers her options and the consequences before making a decision on what to do. Ismene remarks that Antigone is impulsive and once an idea is in her head, nothing can deter her from it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work