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

Camus' Absurdity of Death.

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Albert Camus 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 Albert Camus essays

  1. How Aschenbach and Meursault in Death in Venice and The Stranger respectively, are driven ...

    During the funeral, Meursault complains about the heat. Camus characterizes Meursault as a desensitized, heartless person who cares for nothing but a calm and steady life. He enjoys spending his weekdays at work, and then weekends just strolling around. This routine is what makes Meursault the character he is.

  2. Alternate Trial Verdict: Society's Hostility, Irrationality, and Fathomlessness in Albert Camus's The Stranger

    In a few minutes, I was led back into the courtroom. The jury had already given their verdict. I had a strange feeling that something was different. I looked around the room and saw the faces of the people. Their eyes were not full of hate, as I thought they would be.

  1. A Comparison of the Narrative Structure of ‘The Outsider’ (Camus) and ‘Metamorphosis’ (Kafka)

    it is an indicator that his role has finished and that his family have also completed their metamorphoses. Gregor's transformation has caused a forced awakening and this has brought about the birth of new qualities in the family, for

  2. Is Meursault an absurd hero? Is he a moral monster? Is he a rebel ...

    Although the book centres on one character, Meursault, he is used as a reflection on the absurdity of society. Therefore The Stranger is a book about the values of society told through the eyes of a man who does not conform.

  1. Death in The Stranger and Night

    He takes the death of his father extremely seriously. The importance of his father's life to him is shown through his continued attempts to keep him alive. In example, the head of Elie's block tells him "Here, there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends. Everyone lives and dies for himself alone."

  2. Albert Camus

    though he was not distress with his mothers death he still has a soft side towards women "I brushed against her breast". Mersault shows no inevitability in life and that the world around him makes no sense to him and that he'd rather live by his own rules and for

  1. Explore how the writers use the technique of defamiliarisation to reveal hidden truths about ...

    transformation of physical reality does not alter the hidden truth that we are trapped by duty. Conversely, Meursault does not go out of his way to ensure other's happiness thus, Camus communicates that as individuals; our reasoning can be ultimately solipsistic and does not need to conform to society.

  2. English World Literature Essay

    Samsa's nature becomes more dominant. There is also a sub theme of the competitiveness between father and son that we see in parts throughout the book where the father uses force on his son, in an effort to regain dominance of the family.

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