The Stranger vs. A Family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y.
Alienation comes in many different shapes and sizes. It can be caused by one's self or it can be caused by a community. Both individuals and communities can be alienated and for all we know there may be a community of alienated people somewhere in the world. Although it can be hard to recognize at times, it is clearly evident in both The Stranger by Albert Camus, and a photograph by the name of A Family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y. taken by Diane Arbus.
The Stranger, or L'étranger to some, is often hailed by intellectuals to be one of the great modern classics. It tells the tale of a peculiar man in his peculiar world. The man, Monsieur Meursault, presents an almost stereotypical example of alienation by both himself, and the community. He alienates himself by removing himself often from uncomfortable situations and allowing himself to be controlled by others. "The day before, we'd gone to the police station and I'd testified that the girl had cheated on Raymond. He'd gotten of with out a warning. They didn't check out my statement." (Camus 48). Meursault had agreed to help his neighbor, who he hardly knew, by writing a letter to Raymond's now ex-girlfriend and by going down to the police station to testify in order to justify Raymond's violent tendencies towards his girlfriend. Meursault allowed himself to be used as a tool and was alienated by not letting himself feel emotion on the task he was asked to perform. He alienated himself by allowing others to use him.
Although self-alienation is a rather common occurrence, alienation by a community is even more evident. Along the lines of alienation, if there ever was a photograph worth a thousand words on one topic, it would be A Family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y. (Arbus 1968). Ms. Arbus photographed three people, Two adults and their child on a extremely expansive lawn which seems to remove them from...
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