Philosophical Analysis of the Stranger by Albert Camus

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  • Topic: Existentialism, Meaning of life, Absurdism
  • Pages : 2 (591 words )
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  • Published : June 6, 2012
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The Stranger: Philosophical Analysis
The Stranger, by Albert Camus, is a novel in which Meursault, the main character, develops a peculiar philosophy on the world and eventually comes to terms with the irrationality of life and meaninglessness of society.

In the book, Meursault’s mother dies, and yet, as he travels to her funeral, sits a night by her coffin and attends the service, his first person narration voice does not give any indication of grief. The day after his mother dies, he meets an old coworker, Marie, and they go on a date to a movie. A relationship quickly forms between them, and they become engaged. Meanwhile, Meursault’s neighbor, Raymond, a notorious pimp and immoral man, needs help luring his mistress back to him as well as getting acquitted at the police station on charges of beating her. Meursault indifferently agrees to help Raymond as a neighborly thing to do. As the plot develops, the reader begins to notice Meursault’s indifference to life more and more. When Meursault kills an Arab simply because of hot weather and Raymond’s dispute with him, Meursault is arrested, thrown in jail and brought to court. It is in jail that he truly starts to formulate his own existentialist philosophy and reflect that there is no meaning to life. When Meursault is sentenced to death, at first he dreams of escape and acquittal. However, he soon comes to terms with the fact that death is inevitable. This thought turns him even more indifferent to emotion. As Meursault formulates more of his philosophy of the irrationality of the universe, he is visited by the chaplain, who comes to his jail cell to perform the last rights. Meursault rejects him, saying he is an atheist and refuting God. This, as well as his lack of grief for his mother’s death, horrifies the chaplain and the Magistrate and society at large. They label him a monster and keep his sentence. Meursault, through coming to terms with the fact that his death is imminent and unavoidable, is able...
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