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The Stranger, Albert Camuss first novel, is a brilliantly crafted story and a portrayal of Camus absurdist world view

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Introduction

World Literature- The Stranger by Albert Camus The Stranger, Albert Camus?s first novel, is a brilliantly crafted story and a portrayal of Camus? absurdist world view. Camus? absurdist philosophy implies that existence and ethical orders have no rational or usual meaning. The novel tells the story of an emotionally detached, indifferent man named Meursault. Camus creates an absurd world by immersing the reader into the perspective of Meursault where he shares his views of life and the world. It is Meursault, the protagonist of The Stranger, who composes the novel, who shapes and fabricates this absurd world. 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. Albert Camus's main character, Meursault, is depicted as a rebel in a way that he 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 does not cry at his mother?s funeral, does not believe in God, and kills a man he barely knows without any apparent motive. ...read more.

Middle

Camus conveys the idea of absurdity, creating an absurd world, through the perspective of Meursault. This first-person narrative perspective allows Meursault to not only be a character but also a narrator so that the thoughts, actions and views of Meursault may be conveyed to the reader. The story is told in the first person and traces the development of the narrator's attitude toward himself and the rest of the world. Through this unique perspective of merging the character with the narrator, Camus allows the reader, the opportunity to become part of the awareness of Meursault. In Part I, what Meursault decides to mention are just concrete facts. He describes objects and people in short descriptive sentences that are clear and to the point. Since he makes no effort to analyze things around him, that job is given to the reader. The reader therefore creates his own meaning for Meursault's actions. When he is forced to confront his past and reflect on his experiences, he attempts to understand the reasons for existence. At first, Meursault makes references to his inability to understand what's happening around him, but often what he tells us seems the result of his own indifference or detachment. ...read more.

Conclusion

With his complete indifference to the world, Meursault becomes a complete stranger. He sees the world as a meaningless string of events that give no purpose to existence where this belief offends society and its beliefs. Meursault has a passion for the truth, as well as an acceptance to death. He is an outcast for this reason, and is detached from others because they cannot face the truths of the world as he perceives them. Meursault has an indifference to other humans and their feelings, and stands out in sharp contrast to the rest of the world. Meursault is so indifferent that he does not recognize his emotions until he is about to die. Ironically, he finds meaning in his life only when he is sentenced to die. Indifference and alienation in the novel really shows through Meursault's character. His indifference allows him to care less about whether life has meaning. It is odd that Meursault becomes so preoccupied or maybe fascinated by his own death whereas usually, people fear death. Meursault rather embraces it. Through such indifference, beliefs, views, acceptance to death, it offends society, opposing its norms, detaching and alienating Meursault, all which shape, construct and fabricate an absurd world. Kevin Tieu Word Count: 2045 551 Words from Quotations, Titles, Heading ...read more.

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