Albert camus

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The Stanger - Albert Camus

|In this essay it is assumed that the reader has not read Albert Camus' The Stranger but is aware that the plot involves a character called|
|Meursault, the shooting of an Arab and a subsequent trial. This essay is not a ‘The Stranger a study guide' but a brief look at some of the |
|themes of the book. The intention is to enticethe reader into reading The Stranger for themselves. Accordingly all mention of specific |
|characters or plot points have been avoided where possible.|
|For Camus, life has no rational meaning or order. We have trouble dealing with this notion and continually struggle to find rational structure |
|andmeaning in our lives. This struggle to find meaning where none exists is what Camus calls, the absurd. So strong is our desire for meaning |
|that we dismiss out of hand the idea that there is noneto be found. Camus wrote The Stranger as an enticement to his readers, to think about |
|their own mortality and the meaning of their existence. The hero, or anti-hero, of The Stranger isMeursault. His life and attitudes possess no |
|rational order. His actions are strange to us, there seems to be no reason behind them. We are given no reason why he chooses to marry Marie or |
|gun down anArab. For this, he is a stranger amongst us. And when confronted with the absurdity of the stranger's life society reacts by |
|imposing meaning on the stranger.|
|It's worth noting here that L'Etranger is sometimes translated as The Outsider but this is inaccurate. Camus doesnot want us to think of |
|Meursault as ‘the stranger who lives ‘outside' of his society' but of a man who is ‘the stranger within his society'. Had Meursault been some |
|kind of outsider,...
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