English IV Adv
November 29, 2012
No Discernible Difference
There are those who think themselves “awakened”. These people believe they understand the true absurdism of the universe. These awakened individuals are often very disconnected, believing that it matters not what they do, as the outcome will ultimately be the same – happiness throughout life until death. In Albert Camus’ The Stranger, the main character Meursault is a true absurdist. Meursault believes that because he can always find content, the choices he makes are of no consequence. Marriage, or not, one can be happy; friendship or not, one can be happy. Meursault is nearly emotionless and is very dispassionate about most things he does. In the graphic novel/movie The Watchmen by Allen Moore and Dave Gibbons, Dr. Manhattan is another such awakened individual. However, Dr. Manhattan’s reason for his belief in absurdism is more because he is all but god-like. Dr. Manhattan see’s the past, present, and future simultaneously and is able to manipulate matter with his mind, and thus believes everything pre-ordained. Both characters are disconnected, dispassionate, and have very few connections to conventional humanity. Examining Meursault and Dr. Manhattan together reveals many similarities in their personalities, though they are completely different beings, and shows glimpses into the minds of absurdists.
Meursault is the type of man who is content to just watch the world pass him by. He claims that his physical cravings are what motivate him more than emotional instincts. In actuality he simply breezes through life without any thought to his actions. Meursault allows himself to casually fall into “friendships” and “relationships” that are purely created and maintained through convenience and lust. Meursault does have a job that he could advance in, but sees no reason to as he is content where he is. Whether it is writing a vengeful letter to another man’s woman for a...