“The outsider” - By Albert Camus

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"The outsider" - By Albert Camus

From the beginning of time society has developed and redefined the way people ought to live and act, and exercised the power to elevate or banish people as it pleases. Therefore citizens not living by this rigid prescriptive framework are seen as outcasts and are treated with disrespect and zero tolerance Comprehending and accepting are too very different things. We must first understand a situation before truly been able to accept it. Albert Camus mirrors this concept in the novel "The Outsider", by introducing us to a character that we must first understand and then accept. He welcomes us into the world of an Individual's struggle to cope with the callousness of the society in which he lives.

Meursault, the main character, believes that all he said and did, throughout his life was rational and thus he was only found guilty, of his actions, after society judged him. When analysing the novel, the believability of Meursault's actions become more credible as the narrative develops. Consequently, by examining society's view of Meursault, his mother's death and in the end his own death, we are able to comprehend his point of view and accept it.

The setting is very important when analysing the text's believability, Meursault is a French character who is ostracized by his own society for not complying with its rules. The French society has traditionally been confident of its superiority. They believe that anyone not living the way they propose is not worthy of existence. Consequently, they seem to look down on people that do not conform or posses the characteristics that they display.

"He told me...that people described me as being taciturn and withdrawn..."

"I could tell I was making him uncomfortable"

This, conceited, society is portrayed as having a sense of arrogance towards any opposing race or outcast by using harsh actions or language when referring to them. Hence when analysing the text, the French society can be seen passing judgement on Meursault and find him guilty of not practising the life that they preach.

" He announced that I had no place in a society whose most fundamental rules I ignored, nor could I make an appeal to the heart when I knew nothing of the most basic human reaction"
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A novel's believability depends on the approach taken by the author to present the story to his or her readers. In this case, Albert Camus used the technique of first person to present us with the character of Meursault. We the readers are welcomed willingly into the life and mind of Meursault, however as the narrative evolves we are practically forced to side with his way of life and thinking and to sympathize with the difficulty of his position. Meursault's character was one of self-confidence, he was not afraid to state what he really was and did not ...

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