Alber Camu Stranger Review Essays

Submitted By Yndruute1
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Albert Camus The Stranger Review

Albert Camus’s Stranger was his one of the first novels which was and still is admired and appreciated all across the world. The short novel tells a story about the main character Meursault and his relationship with the world around him. The first part of the book tells of Meursault mother’s death, his indifference and emotionless state towards the news, Meursault’s love life and his unpredicted and fateful acquaintance with his neighbour. The quiet life of Meursault is soon to be disturbed by a murder which he himself was to be blamed of. The second part of the book consists of Meursault’s trials in court, the analysis of his life by himself and the people in court, and lastly, his sentence to death. A man is different than others and has a different understanding of right and wrong than those of society, which therefore makes him a Stranger. The main character who, according to Camus, does not care about anything in his life, is as ridiculous as the prosecution in which many different inessential material succeeds in killing him. It seems that everything he has or has not done before the incident turns around and becomes a charge against Meursault: placing his mother in a home for aged people; not showing any signs of grief during his mothers’ funeral; spending the night after the funeral with a girl; freely agreeing to be a friend with a pimp; showing no expression of regret during the trials in court. Ordinary, “normal” people judge his way of thinking and dealing with life because it does not go in line with accepted moral standards of society, therefore sentencing Meursault to death not for the killing the Arab but for not being “normal” human being living to the accepted behavioural rules.
A short novel does not have a lot of characters, however the most important ones are Meursault, the narrator; Raymond Sintes, the catalyst, and Marie Cardona, Meursault’s lover. Meursault is a person disengaged and detached psychologically from humanity, maintaining only uncommitted and unemotional relations with people around him, including his mother. He is an honest human being who does not hide his lack of feelings towards certain important events and his only virtue seems to be not to lie. Meursault do not care about loving relationships with other people and does not appreciate the values of marriage and love.1 Meursault does not make a distinction between right or wrong, however it is not that he is incapable of understanding of what is right and what is wrong, he simply does not place any value judgment on his actions and do things whenever he has ability and time to do so. 2 The only time Meursault actually starts to think more broadly about himself, the world and people around him, and events happening during his present, were when he was condemned to death and sitting in his cell waiting for the ceremony. His atheism and indifference towards religion and God only sharpen when spending time in cell. However, only during a meeting with a chaplain for the last time, he bursts out how unimportant and meaningless people’s lives are and how little meaning their actions have to the world and universe. That is at this point Meursault finds peace with himself and with the world around him, making a culmination of all events and his life.
Raymond Sintes, a neighbour of Meursault, who later becomes, as Raymond himself mentions “now you’re a pal, Meursault”3. Even though the reason why Raymond began his friendship with Meursault was to use him in his bad chores, Raymond saw something different in his neighbour; it was Meursault’s uniqueness that drew him to get to know him better. However, Raymond is opposite of who Meursault is and possesses only undesirable traits. The only common trait he has with Meursault is that they both keep their distance from people. Aggressive, cold, malicious and vindictive Raymond beats his girlfriend because of her unfaithfulness. Raymond talks Meursault into helping