The Stranger

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The short story “The Myth of Sisyphus” and the novel The Stranger show how one can achieve happiness regardless of the disparity of their situation.  In “The Myth of Sisyphus” the character Sisyphus is sentenced to push a rock to the top of a hill and then let it fall under its own weight, and repeat the action.  In The Stranger the character Meursault is faced with a public execution.  Both characters expressed different characteristics, however found peace through the same route.  At the end of each story both Meursault and Sisyphus are able to reach happiness because they have accepted the inevitability of their situation and have completely detached themselves from the rest of the world.  

Throughout the novel The Stranger, the main character Meursault never expresses any real emotions or appears to have any real interest as to what goes on around him.  Even such as the death of his own mother did not change his way of living, not even his mood.  “It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over, that maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that nothing had really changed” (Camus, pg 18).  However when faced with a real danger to his life, a public execution, his views changed drastically.  He began to look inward and realize his life has a past present and future, he also begins to hope for a better outcome, that something would go wrong in his execution.  This hope tortures him inside as it blinds his from accepting his current situation.  The night before he was planned to be killed a Chaplain visits him in his cell.  Meursault lashes out at him with all the emotions he has kept bottled up inside, and through this is able to have a major breakthrough, and come to terms with life.  At the end of his rant he yelps “this wind leveled whatever was offered to me at the time in years no more real that the ones I was living”.  Realizing that he would never find peace sitting in prison for 20 years, he then began to welcome his execution...
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