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The Stranger

Uploaded by abstractspace on May 03, 2004

The Stranger by Camus:

The Stranger is a story about a man named Meresault living in Algiers. Algiers is at the very northern top of Africa. Meresault is instantly labeled as odd in the readers mind when the story starts: "Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure." As you read along you keep wondering, "What is going on inside the mind of this man? Is he insane?" Because of this first seed that is planted in your mind, everything that follows is tainted with the first impression you have of Meresault. So, as you follow him through his life day to day, after his mother's death, you can know exactly what he is thinking and doing. Knowing this you are even more confused with the strange attitude of this man in response to life. The more you find out about him, the more appropriately you realize the book is titled. You start to realize that he has a very absurd life, and as the back of the book puts it, "Life begins to stalk him quietly and slowly..." Halfway through the book Meresault ends up killing an Arab man who was very loosely related to a friend. He goes on trial for this, but the trial, taking up the second half of the book, turns into an examination of Meresault's character as a human being. I don't want to reveal the ending but it should be fairly obvious. Basically, Meresault is on trial for his actions as a member of society, being judged by members of society, while he has almost absolutely nothing to do with society in the first place. The least you can say is that the court, including the jury, has no reason to look upon him favorably.

Throughout "The Stranger", Camus seems to be trying to say how little control we have over life, and constantly stressing the absurdity of it. His point, as I interpret it, is that we have so little control over life that we should, like the stoics, seek the greatest pleasure for our self when we can. However, I am divided by believing that and another one of my interpretations, which is that he is trying to say life may not have any meaning because it is so absurd, and we need to make that meaning for our self. Meresault accomplished this goal by living his life like a modern...

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Uploaded by:   abstractspace

Date:   05/03/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (545 words)

Views:   7058

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