Society vs Individual: Repression on Dionysian Personality in the Stranger

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Many books have been written by many authors that deal with a struggle between society and individual. Albert Camus' The Stranger (L'étranger) deals with this same topic, but it can be analyzed from a unique and very interesting point of view. The way of life of people can be analyzed by classifying them into two main forces that oppose each other. These forces were named after the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus.

Theses terms were first used by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The main concept of the Apollonian personality is that these persons' main mode of functioning is by reason, whereas the Dionysian personality functions by intuition. In Camus' The Stranger, Mersault's personality can be seen as Dionysian (reasons will be discussed later), but his main attitude towards society is quite Apollonian. This leads to the statement that the Dionysian personality of Mersault is restrained by society, making him seem or behave in an Apollonian style.

The term Apollonian was first used by Nietzsche to represent principle of order, logic, clarity, moderation, and control in human personality and society. He applied the word Dionysian to represent spontaneity, passion, intuition, an excess in human personality, and rebellion against society. The Apollonian self is what makes people be organized, be on places on time, follow the rules, etc. An Apollonian person often wants solitude and quiet moments to think. Some of these persons often loose temper when they encounter their clashing personality, the Dionysian personality. The Dionysian personality always wants to have fun, live the moment, resist authority and act on hunches. A Dionysian person usually has a tendency to resist authority, jump to quick conclusions (whilst the Apollonian tends to think a lot before jumping to conclusions or making decisions) and indulge, or overindulge, him/herself. While the Apollonian person likes to have quiet time to think, a Dionysian person likes to daydream. The...
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