The Stranger by Albert Camus
"The Stranger" is set in Algeria. The story concerns an office clerk named Mersault whose refusal to adhere to societal expectations regarding love,
friendship and religion eventually leads to his imprisonment under a death sentence. The author Albert Camus identifies Meursault as the absurd hero who can survive
amidst chaos. This main character does not rebel against society's conventions and expectations of him. Rather he simply puts them out of his life entirely to live
apart from society. Even though Meursault does have friends and does engage in normal social activity such as spending time in a bar, he is nonetheless essentially
unaffected by society. He is present in body, but he does not participate emotionally or mentally in society. Meursault is the quintessential example of what Camus
would consider to be an absurdist hero.
Camus uses this book and story to relay his points of view on the absurdist view and the existentialist viewpoints on life.
Absolute truth, according to Albert Camus, does not exist, and it is this theme, along with the absurdity of human existence, that he is attempting to portray
throughout "The Stranger." Through the alienated character of Meursault, who is shallow, almost inhuman, and an unrecognizable member of the human race, Camus
shows us that our actions do not matter when viewed through the eyes of an eternal universe. What we do, say, and believe, are only important to us, and perhaps
to those that they affect, but they are not significant, and neither are they truth. Camus' basic point within this is that the only things that are real are physical
Few novels have explored the difference between exterior reality and interior life as fully and as effectively as has Albert Camus' The Stranger. The novel
offers Camus an opportunity to exploit his perception of the world as inherently absurd. The absurdist sees the world as basically meaningless. Events,...