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Camus' Absurdity of Death.

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Introduction

Curtis Braught English A1 HL Would Literature Word Count 951 Camus' Absurdity of Death Key Passage Detailed Study (2c) Albert Camus was one of many philosophers that furthered the recognition of the absurdity of human existence. Camus used many essays, articles and novels to explain existentialism and his ideas on the reason for humans' existence. One of the novels Camus used to portray the idea of existentialism was The Stranger. In The Stranger many different topics can be discussed about. But there is one topic that is discussed the most. The topic that is talked about the most is that of the absurdity of the existence of human beings. Meursault, the main character in The Stranger, is talking to the nurse and she gives an explanation about the suns affects on human beings: "She says, 'If you go to slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go to fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church.' She was right. There was no way out." ...read more.

Middle

There is no other choice. Hope is lost when humans come to the realization that death is the only option. The sun being a metaphor for death, along with Meursault being condemned and Meursault's apathy explained later, are examples of why this passage is key to the novel. This passage also is used later in the novel to condemn Meursault. Meursault kills the Arab. While on trial the judge asks Meursault why he killed the Arab. The only reply Meursault gives is that he killed him because of the sun. Meursault said, "I never intended to kill the Arab" (Camus 102). The judge replies and Meursault "blurted out that it was because of the sun" (Camus 103). Meursault did tell the truth, the sun did affect his judgment. Camus writes, "The sun was starting to burn my cheeks...it was burning, which I couldn't stand anymore, that made me move forward" (Camus 58, 59). The Arab gets up and shows his knife to Meursault. Because of the sun Meursault is blinded in two ways. The first way he was blinded was the sweat that had dripped into Meursault's eye. ...read more.

Conclusion

Meursault showed neither regret while killing him nor any sympathy during the trial. Authors use key passages to foreshadow, explain an idea, or place an idea that is to be used in the rest of the novel. A key passage is usually the beginning of an idea that runs through out the remainder of the novel. Sometimes one small piece of dialogue can be used as a key passage. In this novel such feat was achieved. The passage from The Stranger is a key passage in the novel because of the suns relationship to the idea of death. The condemning of Meursault and the apathy displayed by Meursault throughout the novel are the product of the key passage. There are many other articles and novels to understanding Camus' ideas, but this novel and this passage especially help to understand Camus' ideas. The passage of dialogue between the nurse and Meursault is used time after time as an explanation for sections that occur later in the novel. The reoccurrence of the sun's effects is what makes this passage so profound on the novel. Its ideas flow through the novel affecting the characters' interactions and expressions. ...read more.

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