Comparison of Camus and Dostoevsky Essay

1444 Words Dec 24th, 2010 6 Pages
Raskolnikov-A “Stranger” to Mersault?

Though written by completely different authors in completely different times and places, the works The Stranger and Crime and Punishment show many similarities in the actions and views of the protagonists. Raskolnikov and Meursault show similarities through their existentialist views of life, actions towards others, and wanting of escape from the real world or conscience world. These character similarities suggest similarities in the views of the two authors Fyodor Dostoevsky and Albert Camus. The two authors are trying to convey slightly different, yet almost identical existentialist views to the reader. These views can be seen very much in the characters of Meursault and Risk. Both
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“It means that I’m sick to death of you all and I want to be alone.” (Dostoevsky 146) Raskolnikov says this at one point when he is totally fed up with Razumihin and his family. Raskolnikov often times just wants to be completely alone to go over his thoughts. “Raskolnikov felt very miserable. If it had been possible to escape to some solitude, he would have thought himself lucky, even if he had to spend his whole life there.” With this statement, we see that Raskolnikov is really the happiest when no one is around and he is completely alone. Similarly, Mersault also has the same reactions to people trying to help him. When the priest is trying to help him “find God”, Meursault can’t stand it. He says “the priest was starting to annoy me.” (Camus 45) Just like Raskolnikov, Meursault can’t stand it when people are trying to help him. Meursault also gets very aggravated with the people at his mother’s vigil. He is mad when they are all quiet and then he gets mad when they are all making noises. “Soon one of the women started crying…I wished I didn’t have to listen to her anymore.” This statement by Meursault shows that he has no sympathy and is still annoyed at people who are in remorse.
These characteristics of Raskolnikov and Meursault show that neither of the two is ever truly happy when there is someone else around. Neither of them are very social, even when it comes to good friends and family members. These things reinforce the

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