Albert Camus The Stranger During The Existentialist Movement

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Albert Camus wrote The Stranger during the Existentialist movement, which explains why the main character in the novel, Meursault, is characterized as detached and emotionless, two of the aspects of existentialism. In Meursault, Camus creates a character he intends his readers to relate to, because he creates characters placed in realistic situations. He wants the reader to form a changing, ambiguous opinion of Meursault. From what Meursault narrates to the reader in the novel, the reader can understand why he attempts to find order and understanding in a confused and mystifying world.

Camus writes in a simple, direct, and uncomplicated style. The choice of language serves well to convey the thoughts of Meursault. The story is told in
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The first part describes Meursault as an indifferent character, the second as a changed and intellectual man. This separation is helpful in understanding the changing nature of Meursault. Part I of the novel is just Meursault's commentary on the events going on around him.. Part II is Meursault's commentary on his life in which he attempts to understand existence and what it stands for. He is conscious of every aspect of his experience, both past and present. In Part I, the reader sees that Meursault is devoid of emotion and lacks the sort of emotion that makes a person vulnerable. However, in Part II, he has little choice but to reflect on his past because in his jail cell, that is the only thing he can do. He learns to do without the experiences he loves and he sleeps much of the time. However, he does suffer a great deal thinking about the executioner and his blade. For the first time in his life, he thinks about his relationship with society. The final encounter with the chaplain forces him to articulate his ideas on life and death. He is faithful to his beliefs, though they are limited. The confrontation with death causes Meursault to open up his heart to the indifference of the universe. The only thing that could make his death happy is to maintain his beliefs and set a standard for those to …show more content…
With his complete indifference to the world, Meursault becomes the example of an existentialist. He sees the world as a meaningless string of events that give no purpose to existence. Meursault has a passion for the truth. He is an outcast for this reason, and is detached from others because they cannot face the truths of the world as he perceives them. Meursault has an indifference to other humans and their feelings, and stands out in sharp contrast to the rest of the world. The novel did introduce the ideas of existentialism to me. Upon finishing the book, the reader is left to ponder the meaning of life as presented by existentialism. Meursault is so indifferent that he does not recognize his emotions until he is about to die. Existentialism in the novel really shows through Meursault's character. It is not really obvious as to whether or not he believes there is a meaning to life until the end when he understands it. It is most likely that his indifference allows him to care less about whether life has meaning. It was odd that Meursault becomes so preoccupied or maybe fascinated by his own death. He at least thinks about it, which shows that he cares. Perhaps it is a way for him to redeem himself. He is an existentialist hero through his understanding of the meaning of life. It is a complex theory in a short, simple

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