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The Outsider is a critique to society through the eyes of a person immune to its disapproval. Discuss.

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The Outsider is a critique to society through the eyes of a person immune to its disapproval. Discuss. The Outsider, by Albert Camus, shows the reader how the world is seen by a pure existentialist, a person that can only be sure of his own existence and that, in this case, doesn't have any belief for moral concepts. Meursault, the main character in the novel, is totally honest about his feelings and only believes in what he can actually see and touch. So for a person like this, faith is impossible. Due to Meursault being an existentialist, in certain situations that involve moral concepts and societal conventions, he is seen as an 'outsider', because he doesn't react the way one is expected to react in a modern society. ...read more.


This shows how Meursault has no respect for any kind of societal conventions; a person smoking in front of the corpse of their dead mother is something very anti-social. In front of a corpse, one is supposed to lower their voice or stop talking, view the corpse and commiserate. The character doesn't perform any of these actions and of course is from then on not seen as 'normal'. This also gets proved later in the book, when Meursault goes to court for killing the Arab. During his trial, they mention how he reacted in front of his mother's corpse and took it into account with the killing of the Arab. ...read more.


Using an existentialist gives another point of view to the reader. Seeing society through the eyes of Meursault is a way that no one would see it. This is because we are used to being in a society, and everything is normal to us. But if Meursault just shows his real feelings and gets excluded, one can for the first time realize, that our society is built up in a way where one has to follow to be 'normal'. If you don't follow, you're an outsider to society. Through this book it is noticeable how one couldn't survive in our society if one is an existentialist. Camus also used this book as an experiment, to see how an extreme existentialist would survive, but it also was used to criticize society. He makes his criteria evident with the examples above. Mikhail Schemm 12L ...read more.

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