How the Outsider is Pessimistic.

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Ryan Sy

English 1-2

Mrs. Ching

January 30, 2004

Essay: How the Outsider is Pessimistic

The Outsider in itself is an exemplary piece displaying the foremost ideals of existentialism. Meursault is used as an existentialist character in the fact that he makes his own decisions and is not influenced by the standards of the outside world. He believes that life is what he makes of it, but at the same time knows that everything in life is simply pointless and absurd. This can be seen in Meursault's actions and in the way he regards the individuals around him. Meursault's beliefs regarding life and death, other people, and the characterization and techniques used by Camus, further emphasize the pessimistic and depressing nature of "The Outsider".

One key aspect of existentialism is the belief that man is "just one object in a world of objects. 50 years in a million. The fulfillment one gains within his life will mean nothing in the long run. One might as well commit suicide." Basically what this means is that life is empty and that any achievements one gains in life will be gone in death. This idea is represented through Meurault's reaction towards his mother's death, and even his own upcoming execution.
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When interviewed by his lawyer about his feelings when his mother died, Meursault replies, "I probably loved mother quite a lot, but that didn't mean anything." This line in itself states that losing his mother meant very little to him, and that he didn't even feel grief at all when his mother had died. This represents a very pessimistic view on life- that it is meaningless. Meurault obviously loved his mother while she was alive, but simply let go of her after she had died. She lost all her worth to him after dying.

Before his ...

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