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How the Outsider is Pessimistic.

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Ryan Sy English 1-2 Mrs. Ching January 30, 2004 Essay: How the Outsider is Pessimistic The Outsider in itself is an exemplary piece displaying the foremost ideals of existentialism. Meursault is used as an existentialist character in the fact that he makes his own decisions and is not influenced by the standards of the outside world. He believes that life is what he makes of it, but at the same time knows that everything in life is simply pointless and absurd. This can be seen in Meursault's actions and in the way he regards the individuals around him. Meursault's beliefs regarding life and death, other people, and the characterization and techniques used by Camus, further emphasize the pessimistic and depressing nature of "The Outsider". One key aspect of existentialism is the belief that man is "just one object in a world of objects. ...read more.


She lost all her worth to him after dying. Before his execution, as he is in his jail cell, Meursault once again demerits the worth of human life. He tells himself, "Well then I'll die. Sooner than other people, obviously. But everybody knows that life isn't worth living... It doesn't matter very much whether you die at thirty or at seventy since, in either case, other men and women will naturally go on living..." Once again, this presents the depressing reality that everyone will eventually die. Also, that life is useless, because nobody ever gets anything important done within their lifetime. This is why Meurault overall feels little fear or regret at the fact that he is going to die. In fact, he accepts that everyone he knew would soon end up forgetting him. ...read more.


Camus uses phrases like, "It didn't seem to matter", "I didn't really care", and "I didn't mind" excessively throughout the novel. The surroundings in the story are vivid and colorful, and yet the character of Meurault is very plain and almost dark. This is all used to expose the truth that human society makes essence, which governs the life of every individual. By not complying with this, one becomes different, and an outsider. It is true that most readers of this book will see Meursault as strange and very robotic. But this wouldn't make any difference at all because life around him will go on nevertheless. Life is pointless and nobody ever finds true fulfillment throughout their lifetime. Simple joys like watching people through one's window or collecting magazines may be all a person may truly long for. This novel shows this pessimistic, but true fact- that life really is not worth living. ...read more.

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