November 11th, 2015
Clamence and his Absurdity
Albert Camus, “The Fall”, represents in many ways, Camus’ style of existentialism and his philosophical notion of absurdity. The “absurd” definition is a person described as; utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue. There are three types of absurdity, the seducer, the actor, and the conquer. In The Fall, Clamence the main character has pursued these three types of absurdity that have been mentioned. In this paper I will discuss the presence of absurdism in Clamene’s life, and whether or not Clamence is absurd.
The narrative is set in the red-light district of Amsterdam and is followed through the course of several days by a man who calls himself Jean- Baptiste Clamence. He used to be a lawyer, but now is a judge penitent. Clamence innovatively draws his listener into his own life, which he continues to outline. Through his monologue, Clamence spends some time describing Amsterdam which he believes resembles a deception of hell. ”Clearly, Amsterdam is linked to hell in Dante, he writes “…a capital of waters and fogs, girdled by cannels, particularly crowded, and visited by men from all corners of the earth.”(25) And “Have you noticed that Amsterdam concentric canals resemble the circles of hell?”(26). Furthermore Clamence then explains his personal history, and in particular he specially talked about his days back in Paris. He was rich,
charming, attractive, and very successful. Successful enough that he decided as a lawyer that he would nobly defend widows, and orphans as a way to build his belief that he was always right. He would even rush over to help the blind cross the street, and he tips his hat to the blind man, as it made him feel above everyone else. “obviously the blind man cannot see Clamence’s polite gesture, but if everything else that Clamence had been doing to that point had been an...