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The Outsider

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The Outsider "A world that can be explained even with bad reason is a familiar world. But, on the other hand, in a universe suddenly divested of illusions and light, man feels alien, a stranger [...]This divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity." (Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus) Along with the birth of mankind came religion, and with religion came the tendency to invest life with meaning and a sense of order. Since life in it self has close to no impact on the world, people feel the need to give their life a meaning or a purpose, and believe all happens for a reason. Meursault is truly an outsider since he doesn't feel a need to do this. From the very start of the novel we understand that Meursault isn't like others. The way he responds to the death of his mother is by the world questioned, and suggests that Meuraults views on life are quite different from the rest of the world. When confronted by Salamoano on how the local people "thought badly" (p. ...read more.


While in prison, God is linked to the meaning of life numerous times, where Meursault's actions and views on life where it has no meaning is a result of him not believing in God. During the first interview between the magistrate and Meursault, the magistrates said he firmly believes that "all men believe in God" (p. 68), adding "even those who wouldn't face up to him" (p. 68), stating that if this wasn't true, his life would "become meaningless" (p. 68), which is what Meursault believes and what Camus is trying to convey. Throughout the interview God and belief in him came up frequently as more and more attention was directed towards the subject. Where in the end the magistrate says he had never seen "a soul as hardened" (p. 69) as Meursault's, explaining this by his lack of fait in God giving Meursault the nickname "Mr. Antichrist" (p. 70). Meursault really didn't care what the magistrate said of him, it didn't matter and "had nothing to do with" (p. 68) him, so Meursault only gave the "impression" (p. 68) he "was agreeing with him" (p.69). ...read more.


116) on his face. However, only until the "scream of sirens" (p. 116) announcing his departure to a world where he is forever neither good nor bad, right nor wrong, too much nor too little, neutral, indifferent. Meursault finally reflects upon his life and concludes that he had "been happy" (p. 117), and that he was "still happy" (p. 117). I believe he understood that he was different, and that he had always been different, people had never shared his view on life and he liked it that way, he had "been happy" (p. 117) with that. So that is the reason why Meursault, to "feel less lonely" (p. 117) wished that he would be greeted with a "crowd of spectators" (p. 117) all with "cries of hatred" (p. 117). Meursault truly did die with a legacy, his views on the meaningless and absurdity of life. However his views weren't favored by the world he lived in and because he didn't compromise and held on to his views he had to pay the ultimate price, his life. And so, if you look at it in this way, it isn't totally wrong of Albert Camus who compares his character Meursault to another, who also had to pay with his life for his views on the world, Jesus. ...read more.

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