What Makes The Absurd In Albert Camus The Stranger

Superior Essays
The Stranger, Albert Camus’ debut novel, illustrates and reflects the view of absurdity of life using the main character, Meursault, as a catalyst. On a surface level, absurdism is perceived through Meursault alone. However, on a deeper level through Meursault, other characters act as a source of absurdity as different situations are forced upon them. Camus achieves this level of complexity by creating and establishing Meursault as a very absent and undistinguished main character, who holds no strongly applied emotions or opinions. In doing this, the characters around Meursault who justify his actions are distinguished as being and reacting to him in an absurd way. The complex level of absurdism is applied and introduced from the beginning …show more content…
Meursault’s use of the term ‘Maman’ is the first point of interest. ‘Maman’ is a French term of endearment for a mother, much like the English term ‘Mommy’. Meursault seems to not care at all about Maman, he put her in a home, he didn’t care when she died, he did not mourn her. Yet he still refers to her as ‘Maman’. This begs the question: Does Meursault have emotions that are not depicted within the novel? Based off the descriptions and information given within the novel one would presume that Meursault has no sentimental attachment to his mother, but his use of ‘Maman’ suggests otherwise. This subtlety relates to Camus’ purpose for the novel, in exploring absurdity it is presumable that there was a point in time when Camus, and Meursault alike, did not question the world and accepted life as it was. Most likely in their earlier years, which is when the attachment to Maman would have formed. Even in his existentialist ideologies, that attachment remained. The subtle clue that Meursault is not incapable of emotion, rather he doesn’t believe that they are necessary and disregards

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