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Camus' Use of Isolation in The Guest and The Stranger

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Derek Russell IB English 11 1/1/12 Flather Camus Use of Isolation in The Guest and The Stranger Isolation is a complete separation from others due to absurd behavior or actions. In both The Guest and The Stranger the main characters Meursault and Daru become isolated in society; in turn both characters differ from society?s expectations and as a result they become isolated. Camus uses the isolation of the main characters in order to illustrate that society is judgmental and isolates people who differ from the norm; and follow that isolation with severe consequences. This suggests that society views outsiders as a threat to society?s order; due to this society separates themselves from people who do not follow the pre-determined rules they have. Camus?s isolation of the characters depicts just how society reacts when someone differs from the norm. Camus utilizes society?s legal system as an example of how society isolates an individual. Camus uses the judgmental state of society and its legal system to illustrate how Meursault becomes condemned for not acting with the norm. At his mother?s funeral he does not cry; instead he ?has some coffee? and ?had a smoke and slept some? (Stranger 90). By not ?crying? he?s condemned and persecuted Society uses this abnormal behavior in order to portray him as an unloving criminal and a ?stranger? in society. ...read more.


Balducci, the symbol for society and its government in this story, gives Daru a ?job? to deliver the Arab to jail. However when Daru feels it?s ?not [his] job? Daru becomes exiled. Society expects its members to follow order and do what they say. However when Daru refuses he is judged and seen as a resistor to society?s power. Balducci, a committed member to society, ?was told to hand [the Arab] over to you and return without a delay? (Guest 306). This suggests that Balducci does what he is told, he is given ?orders? and feels obligated to fulfill them (Guest 306). Conveying that he is easily influenced and follows society?s wishes and as a result he is not isolated. Drau is told to take the Arab to the city; however Daru?s refusal to do so is him rejecting society?s orders. Balducci and Daru know that the Arab ?killed his cousin?; however Daru feels it is important to know if ?he is against us ?but Balducci ?doesn?t think so, But you can never be sure? (Guest 306). Balducci seems to not care either way; he knows he is a murderer and he?s judged without any background or detail. This illustrates that society has a pre-determined judgment based on you background no matter who you are. However Daru, who is separate from society, cares about the Arabs background. ...read more.


This is one of the consequences he faces; because he is different he is judged based on all he has done. Society gives Daru many consequences for all that he has done. Not only is he sent to death for murder but he is also sent to death because he did not ?cry? (Stranger 90). He did not react like a normal person in society would to a death. He differed from society?s norm and as a result society perceived him as a threat. Not only because he killed somebody but also because he did not stay quiet like the robot women. He stepped out and did what he wanted to do; and when society sees this they make it a point to remove these types of people from their balanced society. Society?s mission is to remove those who endanger their order and balance. For Meursault and Daru they are both viewed as threats to this order. For Meursault it takes his trial in order for him to finally see the ?the gentle indifference of the world? (Stranger 97). It requires him to see society in action in court before he realizes that to a certain extent society does not care what you do unless you upset their balance. For Daru the consequences he faces either way on his decision about the Arab show him you cannot win either way when you differ from the norm. Unfortunately for both characters they upset the balance society maintains because of their persistence to follow their own paths. ...read more.

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