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Women in Literature

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Women who are materialised by masculine characters in literature - How do we gain insight through the materialisation of women in The Stranger? Since relationships are such common parts of our lives, it is not surprising that we find frequents references to them in literature, such as in Camus', The Stranger. Relationships in literature have endless links to the text in general, but they especially link to the themes of the text. This is because such themes of literary work can be reflected in the relationships that characters have together. Relationships, obviously a social occurrence, convey the general characteristics and mannerisms of characters, which builds throughout the text. More abstractly, in addition to developing characters, Camus uses relationships, more specifically the materialisation of women to furthermore to build on themes of text. In turn, by analysing relationships and the materialisation of women, we gain insights into multiple themes that Camus is trying to portray. In the very beginning of The Stranger we are introduced to the theme of the meaninglessness of human existence, which is a recurring theme in the novel. The opening of the novel begins with the protagonist Mersault reading a "telegram" he had just received and expressing his thoughts on it- "Maman died today. ...read more.


A minute later she asked me if I loved her. I told her it didn't mean anything but that I didn't think so. She looked sad. But as we were fixing lunch, and for no apparent reason, she laughed in such a way that I kissed her." Clearly Meursault's attitude toward and interest in Marie is primarily sexual. Mersault sees Maria materialistically, a sexual object and nothing more, his worldly description of her gives the reader further insight into the theme of the importance of the physical world. Of which, the physical world resonates over any other aspects of human life such as social and emotional. Such sexual materialism of women is quite common in Mersaults relationship with Maria it suggests that in their relationship Mersault believes physical elements reside above all others. Even during a visit when he is in prison physical elements are the most important - "Marie shouted to me that I had to have hope. I said, "Yes." I was looking at her as she said it and I wanted to squeeze her shoulders through her dress. I wanted to feel the thin material and I didn't really know what else I had to hope for other than that." ...read more.


I answered the same way I had the last time, that it didn't mean anything but that I probably didn't love her. "So why marry me, then?" she said. I explained to her that it didn't really matter and that if she wanted to, we could get married. [...] Then she pointed out that marriage was a serious thing. I said, No." Unmistakably Mersault is succumbed by emotional in difference and hence his characteristics are founded by materialism. His relationship with Marie leads to developing the theme of irrationality in the universe as he says that marriage a largely significant event would not "make any difference to me [him]" just as Camus would argue through absurdism. The way that relationships and the materialisation of women in these relationships can be used to gain insight into the themes into a text is evident in Camus' The Stranger. The reason that something like this is done is because everyone can relate to it in one way or another. And because everyone can relate in different ways this is a good tool as it allows for the audience to develop individually in reference to the themes of the text. Instead of simply explaining the themes and their own thoughts on them relationships are used to convey this and it is tools like this that make literature more interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_suffrage http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/stranger/quotes.html#explanation5 http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/stranger/themes.html http://www.shmoop.com/the-stranger/women-femininity-quotes.html http://www.shmoop.com/the-stranger/women-femininity-theme.html http://books.google.com/books?id=kItXNEolJJMC&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=pimp+role+in+the+stranger&source=bl&ots=5gzpt8xOog&sig=Dm_TzqdkbnNyC6RY6SeN1T6_qsM&hl=en&ei=qQPfTJX_JYSyhAfZpOGUDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDIQ6AEwBA#v=snippet&q=women&f=false ...read more.

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