Existentialism in the Stranger by Albert Camus

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Omar Alam
The Stranger Essay
As humans mature they start to realize that their life has almost always followed a basic routine from childhood till death. This is to go to pre-school, then middle school, then high school, then college, then get a job and get married. A critical tell-tale sign of maturity is when a person starts to take responsibility for their own actions and stops making excuses. Existentialism is a modern philosophical movement largely based on the theory that human existence is unexplainable, that the universe is indifferent and our free choice has a cause and effect to our consequences and that we our responsible for it. Albert Camus brilliantly demonstrates these existentialist themes in the short story “The Guest” and the novel The Stranger. Three key themes that are displayed in both these literature pieces are freedom, responsibility, and indifference of the world.

Freedom is the basic principle on what democracy & the country of America is based upon. It also happens to be the root basis on existentialism and how all humans are capable of free choice, regardless of the circumstance. In The Guest the school teacher Daru is ordered to transfer a prisoner to police headquarters. In this situation it is presumed that Daru has no choice but to follow orders and take the prisoner, yet he states “every bit of this disgusts me, and first of all your fellow here. But I won't hand him over. Fight, yes, if I have to. But not that." (Camus) Disobeying orders, he firmly puts his foot on the ground and confidently states that he will not in fact deliver the prisoner. As he starts to walk with the prisoner he directs him, "Now look," the schoolmaster said as he pointed in the direction of the east, ‘"there's the way to Tinguit. You have a two hour walk. At Tinguit you'll find the administration and the police. They are expecting you."’... Daru took his elbow and turned him rather roughly toward the south...‘"That's the trail across the...
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