The Stranger by Albert Camus

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The Stranger by Albert Camus was published in 1946. The novel begins with Meursault receiving a telegram informing him of his mother’s death. Over the next two weeks after the funeral, Meursault carries on like nothing tragic happened. He gets a girlfriend, befriends a pimp, and goes on a beach vacation with both. During the vacation, he and Raymond, the pimp, get into a fight with the Arabs and Meursault kills one without an explanation for the crime. At the murder trial, the court said he was cold-hearted and hated humankind because he killed his mother, although he did not physically kill his mother. They gave him the death penalty for not caring about his mother but nothing for murdering the Arab. While he was waiting for his turn to die in prison, Meursault thought that it would not be so bad to die because he was leaving society and all that goes with it behind.

The Stranger takes place in 20th century French-occupied Algeria. The narrative tells the dark humor and pessimism of the younger generation that resents the French presence in Algeria. Since the novel was written after World War I and before World War II, there in a sense of hopelessness throughout the book. Also, another setting is in a small beach town outside of Algiers. The setting was before they could talk efficiently and had to use telegrams. “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home. ‘Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours.’ That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday.” This quote was important because it proved that this story took place a long time ago. When he talks about maybe the funeral was yesterday, the telegram did not specify the date so if the telegram got delayed, he would not have been informed in time and he would not have attended the funeral.

The point of view of The Stranger is first person through Meursault. Meursault is the narrator and he tells what he sees, feels, and thinks. The story is solely...
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