What Are Albert Camus in ‘the Outsider' and Hermann Hesse in ‘Siddhartha' Trying to Achieve Through the Relationships That the Main Protagonists Experience in Each Novel with Marie and Kamala Respectively?

Topics: Existentialism, Hermann Hesse, Søren Kierkegaard Pages: 4 (1366 words) Published: November 20, 2007
What are Albert Camus in ‘The Outsider' and Hermann Hesse in ‘Siddhartha' trying to achieve through the relationships that the main protagonists experience in each novel with Marie and Kamala respectively? Both Herman Hesse's ‘Siddhartha' and Camus' ‘The Outsider use the notion of love as a means to examine the protagonists and their perspectives on society, and how society views them. Hesse uses Kamala's love for Siddhartha as the means whereby he gains an understanding of the world and the route to Nirvana. Camus uses Marie to highlight Meursault's existentialist approach; his indifference to society and love. Hesse uses a dream in ‘Siddhartha', a favourite literary device of his, to turn Siddhartha's mind to the idea of women - "and out of the woman's gown emerged a full breast" . Subsequently he is teased by a young woman at the river and finally he "felt a longing and the stir of sex in him" . It is only when he meets "the beautiful Kamala " that he consciously decides to embrace the human passion of desire as he believes it can teach him many things. His initial dream has motivated him into seeking what the world has to offer, as he no longer is a Samana. By attaching Siddhartha to society, Hesse is showing that there is a need to appreciate physical pleasure so that a broader understanding of the world can be achieved through which will come spiritual enlightenment. Hesse also chooses to show Siddhartha, as somewhat less than a God-like figure, as the Buddha appears to be. Linking him with society shows him to be more human. In ‘The Outsider', Meursault's feelings for Marie are purely physical. Meursault repeatedly comments about Marie's figure as he "Brushed against her breasts" , usually noting how beautiful she looks. He describes little about their interaction other than their physical contact, "I only fancied her because she was wearing a pretty red dress" . Any emotional aspects of their relationship are clearly...
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