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The Stranger.

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Introduction

Jose Acosta October 22, 2003 AP English - Mr. Fidemi The Stranger The Stranger exhibits a society that has confined itself with a specific set of social standards that dictate the manner in which people are supposed to act. This ideology determines the level of morality, and how much emphasis should placed on following this certain "ethical" structure. Albert Camus's main character, Meursault, is depicted as a nonconformist that is unwilling to play society's game. Through Meursault's failure to comply with society's values and conform to the norm, he is rejected and also condemned to death by society. He is tried for the crime of murder, but is not judged solely on his actions during the aforementioned crime. He is judged on his specific actions that society regards as absurd according to its social standards. Meursault's different outlook on life differentiates him from the society around him, and as a result, he is deemed a threat to society's moral standard. ...read more.

Middle

The reader and the novel's characters both try to rationalize Meursault's actions in order to give his life meaning. But according to Meursault, life is meaningless and consequently needs no justification. "The day after his mother's death, this man was out swimming, starting up a dubious liaison, and going to the movies, a comedy, for laughs." The prosecutor uses Meursault's previous unusual actions as evidence that he is a threat to society. His actions are deemed monstrous by the jury and subsequently end in Meursault's conviction. Society uses the past in order to justify the present. It is incorrect for one to assert that Meursault has no emotion or incapable of emotion; it is simply that he fails to exhibit it for he feels it is meaningless. Meursault contradicts society's expectations. He does not indicate any signs of grief at the funeral and is therefore labeled a monster, thereby threatening the level of morality that has been instilled into the other members of society. ...read more.

Conclusion

It allows failures in life to attain hope for a next life. Society is unwilling to accept his belief and condemns him for his unconventionality. Meursault faces the absurdity of life by not focusing his life on the indefinable and unknown. The Stranger reveals the condemnation of man who was unwilling to conform to the norm of Algerian society. His unconventional philosophy concerning life made him an outcast and used as a scapegoat for society's failure to uphold its own moral standard. It is the fear of Meursault's ideology that condemns him. It is the fear that his ideology would affect others from conforming to society's standard that convicts him and sentences him to death. Society had to eradicate any threat that might hinder conformity. Meursault refuses to become another robot of society and adhere to the commonalities that occur in society. Meursault had to live his life according to his ideology not that of society. Only by realizing the absurdity of life does Meursault truly live a fulfilled existence. "I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again." ...read more.

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