Existentialism and the Absurd In Camus "The Stranger"

Topics: Existentialism, Absurdism, Meaning of life Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: September 18, 2014
Existentialism and the Absurd
The novel, The Stranger, by Albert Camus,consists of a first person narrator, Meursault. Meursault, the main character, acquires an absurd philosophy on the essence of life.His mindset is that life is not only insignificant, it is unavoidable. Meursault's’ life consists of futile bonds, nonchalant behavior, and living an existence of mere tangible exercises throughout the story. In this novel, human life appears to have no meaning in the grand spectrum of the universe. Meursault gives an example of this ideology when he comes in contact with the chaplain who talks about life after death. Meursault, who has a strong disagreement with the idea of Christianity, reveals to the chaplain his outlook on the meaninglessness of life. Meursault's journey through his daily monotonous life finds himself unable to connect with humanity and only able to focus on the concrete tangibility. The first sentence of the book states, “Today, mama died. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know”(Camus 1).Meursault's careless response to his mother’s death conveys a sense of resignation or carelessness.This idea is supported by his lack of ambition to derive personal relationships with the people around him. Meursault's only pleasure in the story are the warmth of the sun, a touch from his fiancee, Marie, and the taste of his cigarette. Meursault gets his pleasures from tangible objects. Camus shows Meursault's philosophy in life is the importance of the reality and the events that are taking place at that moment. The protagonist, Meursault, focuses only on the physical aspects in life.When he obtains a lover, she tries to show Meursault the meaning of love, and the intelligence of being in a relationship. But Meursault does not give any thought to these feelings between he and Marie, nor does he, in any personal relationships. The only thing that matters is “the sense of immediacy that lies at the foundation of his philosophy”(Moser 1). Raymond...

Cited: Camus, Albert. The Stranger. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1993. Print.
Moser, Patrick J. “An overview of The Stranger, in Exploring Novels, Gale.” (1998). Rpt. in
Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Literature Resource Center. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
SCHERR,ARTHUR. “Camus’s THE STRANGER.” The Explicator 59.3 (2001): 149.
Literature Resource Center. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
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