J. D. Salinger: the Catcher in the Rye - Albert Camus: the Stranger Comparison

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J. D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye - Albert Camus: The Stranger /comparison/

Albert Camus’ The Stranger and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye are both among the most important and innovative novels of the twentieth century, however it is not the only similarity shared in common by these two masterpieces. The modern world’s general moral change and the individual’s alienation from the society serve as the main, basic topic for both novels. The most visible and outright similarity lies in Holden Caulfield and Meursault getting indifferent and alienated from their society and their whole environment but the main reasons of this change, their backgrounds, the time and place of the novels, and also their fates differ greatly. This essay will seek to summarise the two works and evaluate the similarities and differences throughout the novels. The Nobel recipient Albert Camus’s The Stranger is arguably his most influential and best known work, written in 1942. The Algerian-born Camus’s novel explores various philosophical schools of thought, including absurdism, nihilism but most importantly existentialism. The protagonist of The Stranger is a French man, called Meursault, who seemingly can not fit into the society of French Algeria and thus into the Arab culture. In the very beginning, we get to know about the death of Mersault’s mother, however, he does not seem to be affected by the loss at all, he is not even willing to see her mother for a last time. Meursault is completely indifferent towards the world and the society itself, being completely uninterested in what he does and why he does these things. Another example to his aloofness is when he lends a helping hand to his neighbour, Raymond who wants to assault his former girlfriend sexually and physically, however, Raymond is then arrested and taken to court but Meursault testifies so that Raymond is only given a warning. The climax of the story is when the Arab friend of Raymond’s girlfriend...
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