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Comparing Camus' "The Stranger" to Orwell's "1984"

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Introduction

Madhur Mahajan Meaninglessness of Life "The Stranger" - Albert Camus The author of "The Stranger" Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a French author, journalist, and philosopher who have also won a Nobel Prize in Literature. This book of his is based on the life of Meursault. Meursault being the protagonist narrates the ups and downs of his life. This story is basically a thriller that shows us the lack of emotion in Meursault's personality which in the end leads to ruin his life. The main characters in this book are Meursault and his mother, his girlfriend Marie Cardona, his neighbor Raymond Sintes, Thomas Perez and The Chaplain. The story starts with the death of Meursault's mother and her funeral in which Meursault shows no affection at all towards his mother. Marie is immensely in love with Meursault and wants to marry him, she then asks him to marry her and he first replies by saying "it didn't mean anything" and then says yes as though it makes no difference to him if he is married or not. His emotionless character later takes him to a point at which everyone thinks that he is an antichrist and he is thus visited by the priest to try to increase his belief and faith in God. The pope then talks to him about his disbelief in God and he for the first time truly embraces the idea that human existence holds no greater meaning. ...read more.

Middle

Marie and Meursault share a relationship similar to the relationship of Winston and Julia, two main characters from the book "1984". Both their thoughts and views don't match and none of them are truly affectionate about their partner. Meursault tries to get rid of Maria by expressing his indifference and his hatred towards their marriage. In spite of all these difficulties Maria still wants to marry him and be his wife. She is attracted towards him to such an extent that she even tries to help and support him during his arrest and trail. Raymond Sintes - He is basically Meursault's neighbor and plays a role of a pimp in the book. After suspecting that his wife had possibly cheated on him, Raymond becomes really angry and depressed, and finally decides to punish her for her felony. In order to do so he enlists and asks for Meursault's help. Raymond tries to act with emotion and initiative in distinction to Meursault's calm disconnection. Raymond is mostly hyperactive and turns violent for any small mistake. Because of his violent personality he beats his wife and the two Arabs who were present on the beach. One of these Arabs was his mistress's brother. Meursault can be easily convinced by anyone and Raymond thus tries to use him by convincing him to help Raymond in all his plans. However, Raymond did help save Meursault life by helping him with his testimony during Meursault's case which gives the idea that Raymond holds at least some capability of being loyal and that he is not totally cruel or mean. ...read more.

Conclusion

She was right. There was no way out" (Camus 27). This was said by the nurse who was treating him for the cold and she tried to state that there is no way possible to get away from a cold but Meursault thinks of it in another way, he thinks how there is no way to escape death and that death is inescapable. He strongly believes that nothing should be done about it and the fact should just be accepted and also we should wait for death instead enjoying our life till the time of death. A quote from the book "the myth of Sisyphus" can also be related to the big question in "the stranger" which is whether life is worth living or not. "There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in the philosophy. All other questions follow from that." (Camus, the myth of Sisyphus). Thinking and examining the events that happen in our lives and all around us is really important in life. Doing so give's purpose to our meaningless lives because ultimately, death is the final stage of life that is not to be feared. If a person does not think and examine events in his life then his life is surely meaningless just like the lives of Meursault in "the stranger" and the life of Winston Smith and all the other proles from the book "1984". ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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