Professor Jean Warrington
The Stranger Draft
The Stranger by Albert Camus holds a nihilistic theme. Camus, being a philosopher, wrote a lot about his perspective on life. He discusses how he believes that life has absolutely no meaning besides living in order to inevitably face death. In the story, The Stranger, Meursault symbolizes Albert Camus's beliefs through his personality and actions. Neither the external world in which Meursault perceives nor the internal world of his thoughts, emotions, and actions possesses any rational order. He is considered an outsider to everyone else who has created order on a planet that has no meaning. Meursault's relationship with society is conflicting and his very nature is threatening to people's world view. Instances in which he shows this society conflicting nature are present when Meursault shoots the Arab, shows no emotional reaction to his mothers death, decides to get married, and lastly, when he reaches the conclusion that life has no meaning and he no longer fears death.
The murder of the Arab was a clear sign of Meursault's nihilistic nature. When he kills the arab it is not a big deal to him. He looks at this as the result of a present confrontation and nothing more than another death on the planet. Later, after the murder, Meursault quotes, “On my way out, I was even going to shake his [the policeman's] hand, but just in time, I remembered that I had killed a man.” (64). Meursault feels zero remorse for murdering the Arab. However, at the same time knows that what he has done is wrong according to society’s standards. But because he is unable to feel emotion himself, he categorizes it scientifically and objectively. What Meursault is communicating to society in Ruelle2
this scenario is that the death of the Arab is just another death on the planet and his life held no true value to the universe. This shocks the...
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