The Outsider - Albert Camus

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The universe is often viewed as irrational and absurd. The French literature novel, The Outside, written by Albert Camus focuses on the judicious meaning of human existence and the lives of individuals. In 1957, Camus was awarded with the Nobel Prize in literature “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times.” (Novel Prize Literature) The Outsider concentrates on the rational meaning of human existence and the lives of individuals. This written work follows the life of our Algerian protagonist, Mersault, who becomes involved with a violent murder after his mom demises and is indifferent by her death, denying grief. Camus incorporates the existentialism characteristics, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory into the text. Freud believes that human beings are motivated, even driven by desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware…” (Brizee and Tompkins) Lacan believes in the developmental concepts of the imaginary and symbolic orders, “As a child once lured by its mirror image (Lacan’s ‘imaginary order’), which promised it a wholeness which is lacked, so the test lures the reader by the force of its representation. But at the same time the text is also law (Lacan’s ‘symbolic order’ of language).” (PAGE 7 AND 8) Novels such as, The Outsider, emphasize humanity’s consciousness of its mortality and its need to find meaning in the universe and a life that has no purpose. Through this novel, Camus remarkable shows the effects of the conscious, unconscious, imaginary and symbolic psychoanalysis through the death of his mother, the murder of the Arab and the ignorance of the inevitable trial and death.

The concepts of symbolic orders, imaginary orders, conscious and unconscious mind have consistently reoccurred during the text. With the enhancement of psychoanalysis and how it’s applied to a literary piece allows the reader to interpret...
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