Existentialism in the Stranger and the Metamorphosis

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“We are thrown into existence first without a predetermined nature and only later do we construct our nature or essence through our actions.”(Existentialism)This quote is present through the main characters of The Stranger, Blade Runner, and The Metamorphosis in each of these works the characters create their own nature. These works are similar several ways; in all three the men create their own nature by the free choices they make. Through these choices they also create their own values. The characters values and meanings of life are where these works differ. Initially, in The Metamorphosis, Gregor’s life seems to have meaning, through providing for his family, until he changes into a bug and determines for himself that his life really has no meaning. This is very unlike The Stranger because Meursault, throughout the entire work, lives his life as if there is no meaning to life and he dies knowing this. Finally Deckard, at the beginning of his life, seems to have lived his life with no meaning or values, until he encounters Roy and Rachael who change his perspective. Throughout these works these men make makes choices that determine who they are and what their about, but ultimately every one of them knows their subsequent mortality.

It is clearly understood through Meursault’s narration that life to him is meaningless. The choices he makes and things he says are without thought or meaning. They are usually in the spur of the moment of what will please him. For example the novel starts by Meursault telling the audience “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours." That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday”(The Stranger). Meursault treats his mother’s death with the same demeanor with which he will later treat the death of the Arab. Both of these events are usually different in the types of emotions they reveal, but Meursault shows no emotion...
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