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

The role of judgement in The OutsiderThe actions of Meursault, the protagonist in The Outsider by Albert Camus, are characterized by irrationality. For example, there is no clear logical

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The role of judgement in The Outsider Pascal Geldsetzer English A1 Standard Level, Part 1 Laurie Tomin March 21st, 2005 The role of judgement in The Outsider The actions of Meursault, the protagonist in The Outsider by Albert Camus, are characterized by irrationality. For example, there is no clear logical reason for his decision to marry Marie or to kill the Arab. "That evening, Marie came round for me and asked me if I wanted to marry her. I said I didn't mind and we could do if she wanted to" (Camus 44). However, the idea that things sometimes happen for no reason is disturbing and threatening to society, because, as a logical conclusion from that, individual existence could have happened for no reason and would therefore be purposeless. Hence, society always attempts to find logical reasons for everything. In this novel, society superimposes its rational nature upon Meursault's irrational character, which has the consequence of society making judgements upon Meursault that are false, because the judgements do not agree with his irrational personality. The prosecutor's speech and the meetings between the magistrate and Meursault will be used as examples to show this. Before getting into them, it must be explained that the prosecutor and the magistrate both symbolize society, since they are part of the court, which stands for society as a whole. ...read more.

Middle

I did it rather haphazardly, but I did my best to please Raymond, because I had no reason not to please him" (36). That Meursault does his best to please Raymond in the morally wrong act of writing the letter, just because he does not see any reason not to do so, shows very much how indifferent he is to whether the act is morally right or wrong. Meursault does not care about morally right and wrong and does not follow any moral standards, because it conflicts with his irrational nature. That is, to follow consciously certain moral standards would require Meursault to make the distinction between good and bad in his own mind, which demands, although only a bit, some amount of logical thought, but his irrational nature does not allow him to think in a logical way. Hence, the fact that the prosecutor, who represents society, interprets Meursault's irrational actions in a rational way and uses these explanations to come to the conclusion that Meursault is an immoral monster, which is false since Meursault's irrational side does not allow him to be immoral but only amoral, shows that society imposes its rational nature upon Meursault's irrational personality, which has the consequence of society making judgements upon Meursault that are false, because the judgements do not agree with his irrational personality. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the judgement that Meursault is the most hardened soul he has ever seen is false, because it does not agree with Meursault's irrational nature, since it is not numerous immoral activity that hardened his conscience, but his irrational side. To conclude overall, in The Outsider society superimposes its rational nature upon Meursault's irrational character, which has the consequence of society making judgements upon Meursault that are false, because the judgements do not agree with his irrational personality. Firstly, this is shown by the fact that the prosecutor, who represents society, interprets Meursault's irrational actions in a rational way and uses these explanations to come to the conclusion that Meursault is an immoral monster, which is a false judgement since Meursault's irrational side does not allow him to be immoral but only amoral. Secondly, it is shown by the fact that the magistrate superimposes society's rational nature, in this case represented by Christianity, upon Meursault's irrational character by calling Meursault "Mr Antichrist" and this leads to the fact that the magistrate also judges upon Meursault in terms of Christianity. However, the judgement that Meursault is the most hardened soul he has ever seen is false, because it does not agree with Meursault's irrational nature, since it is not numerous immoral activity that hardened his conscience, but his irrational side. ...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. Is Meursault an absurd hero? Is he a moral monster? Is he a rebel ...

    The second half of the book is very different. There is little action in this part of the story, and most of the narrative is now personal reflection. As Meursault languishes in prison awaiting his trial, he thinks extensively about how he is different from society and how he does not fit in with the rest of the world.

  2. EXISTENTIALISM IN THE OUTSIDER

    He replies, 'she was right, there is no way out.' His observation is not over the sun but over what it represents. The sun is society to Meursault, and if you stick with society by walking too slow, you are going to get overwhelmed by it.

  1. The Outsider

    when asked whether or not he loved his mother, so the only answer he is able to produce is that he "probably loved mother quite a lot" (p. 65). Unlike the world who in their endless search for purpose judge, condemn and decipher life, Meursault only keeps focus on the tangible.

  2. This is the commentary on the book "The Outsider" written by Albert Camus. I ...

    Raymond is a bit like Meursault, he is lonely, he keeps away from other people and he is a cold person. Raymond definitely dislikes women. If Meursault is just different and annoyed with himself, then Raymond on the other hand is a cruel and a violent person, and he knows how to use other people, as he uses Meursault.

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

    "I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so"(pg 35, Camus). Meursault's routine life continues until he shoots Raymond's mistress' brother. This action marks the beginning of Meursault's transition to having emotions. Meursault reinforces the fact that he lacks emotions by claiming that he did love his mother, but "that didn't mean anything.".

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

    This manages to give Meursault a tone of indifference in his language, which is consistent with his mostly emotionless character. Meursault's lack of remorse is the primary argument the prosecuting lawyer makes; therefore, if it becomes trivial, there is little argument for sentencing Meursault to death.

  1. "Death" and the Protagonists views on "Death" in "The Outsider" and "Perfume".

    They are unable to identify with Meursault and the fact he felt no emotions about the death of a family member, "a man whose heart is so empty that it forms a chasm which threatens to engulf society."

  2. How the Outsider is Pessimistic.

    This line in itself states that losing his mother meant very little to him, and that he didn't even feel grief at all when his mother had died. This represents a very pessimistic view on life- that it is meaningless.

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