Santillan, Yesenia

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Santillan, Yesenia

September 11, 2006

Per. 1


The Stranger by Albert Camus narrates the story of an alienated man, Meursault, who commits a murder and waits to be executed for it. At the start of the novel, Meursault goes to his mother's funeral, where he does not express any emotions. The novel then continues to document the next few days of his life. He befriends one of his neighbors, Raymond Sintes and aids him in dismissing one of his Arab mistresses. Later, the two confront the woman's brother ("the Arab") on a beach where Raymond gets cut in the resulting knife fight. Meursault afterwards goes back to the beach and shoots the Arab once, in response to the glare of the sun. The Arab is killed, but Mersault fires four more times at the dead body. Meursault is then arrested and at the trial, the prosecution focuses on the inability or unwillingness of Meursault to cry at his mother's funeral instead of the killing. As the novel comes to a close, Meursault meets with a chaplain, and is enraged by his insistence that he turn to God. The novel ends with Meursault recognizing the universe's indifference for humankind.

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The novel is set primarily in Algiers, after it has been invaded and colonized by the French. The narrative proclaims the dark humor and the pessimism of the younger generation that resents the French presence in Algeria. Since the novel was written after World War I and before the outbreak of World War II, a sense of absurdity and hopelessness is visible throughout the book. The book is also set in a small beach town outside of Algiers. It is on the beach that Mersault kills the Arab.

The Stranger  is told in the first person point of view ...

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