How Does Camus Present His Theory of the Absurd Through Meursault?

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How does Camus present his theory
of the absurd through Meursault?
The Absurd is a philosophy derived from existentialism which was conceived by the French philosopher and writer Albert Camus. It states that humanity searches for meaning in a meaningless world thus, the search and life as a whole become futile because there is no such thing as a meaning to the world and to existence. This also makes other aspects of life worthless such as believing in a higher entity like God or in an afterlife. Camus developed and communicated his theory of the Absurd through three main medias: The Outsider (a novel), The Myth of Sisyphus (an essay) and Caligula (a play). He divulged his theory mostly thanks to his novel The Outsider where he presents it through the main character Meursault. He does this using Meursault’s character, his actions and his interactions with secondary characters. Meursault is portrayed as an unemotional character who lives his life without expectations nor aspirations. It is through this psychological detachment of Meursault from the world and society that Camus expresses the absurdity which exists in his character. In fact, we see this right from the first sentence of the book, “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.” The short sentences convey an indifferent tone which suggest Meursault does not feel any kind of sorrow or unhappiness for his mother’s death. Also at her funeral he seems very apathetic and not really caring of giving his last regards to her. This is shown by the quote, “I didn’t know if I could smoke in front of mother. I thought it over, it really didn’t matter” which communicates perfectly Meursault’s disinterest in showing respect to his mother’s dead body. These are already strong examples of the absurdity which emerges from Meursault who does not give any importance to life, especially to his mother’s, showed by the fact that he does not express any emotions when she dies or at her funeral. Camus...
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