In Albert Camus’ The Stranger, Meursault appears to be completely alienated from the world around him. Events and situations most people would describe as significant or traumatizing seem to have little effect on him. His personality, emotions, and indifference to the world may be explained by his awareness of his fate. Meursault simplifies his fate to a commonality all humans share: one is born, one lives, and then one ceases to exist with nothing left of him or her. He does not believe there is a God and mentions that it does not matter how people live their lives since no one can escape their fate. Meursault’s mentality towards fate is similar towards the outlook Albert Camus has on Sisyphus’s fate in The Myth of Sisyphus. Although Meursault’s fate is different from Sisyphus’ in the sense that Meursault cannot avoid death and Sisyphus will exist for eternity conducting useless labor, they are the same in the sense that both Meursault and Sisyphus accept the fact they cannot do anything to change their fates. It is the acceptance of his fate that causes Meursault’s friends, the lawyers, and the chaplain to think of him as detached from society and even amoral. But is it this same acceptance of fate that allows Meursault to be truly happy once he reflects on the certainties in his life while isolated inside prison. From the beginning of The Stranger, Meursault displays emotional detachment from those around him. He does not cry at his mother’s funeral, has sex and is willing to marry Marie without displaying or mentioning any sentimental feelings for her, writes a cruel letter for Raymond’s mistress after Raymond physically assaults her only because Raymond asks him to, and then later shoots the mistress’ brother multiple times without remorse, leading to Meursault’s imprisonment. These events, besides Meursault’s willingness to marry Marie, cause the prosecutor to claim Meursault is a threat to society when the prosecutor states, “[Meursault] didn’t have a soul and that nothing human, not one of the moral principles that govern men’s hearts, was within [his] reach” (Camus, 101). The perception the prosecutor has for Meursault gives the impression that he thinks Meursault is empty, incapable of human emotion, and commits this crime because he is a evil. But the prosecutor is wrong. Meursault commits this crime and performed the acts previously mentioned because of his acceptance of his fate. He is not an evil or emotionless human and begins to show genuine happiness once he reflects on his life and his fate. To elaborate on Meursault's mentality towards fate, one must examine him after he is sentenced and put in prison. When the chaplain goes to see Meursault, he asks Meursault if he believes in God and says, “do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?” (Camus, 117). Meursault responds by saying he does not believe in God and that it is unimportant and he does live with that thought. Meursault states, “What did his God or the lives people choose or the fate they think they elect matter to me when we’re all elected by the same fate” (Camus, 121). This statement shows Meursault does not think the way people behave or what they believe should have any sort of affect on his life, since he absolutely knows what fate all mankind shares. He thinks to himself about his appeal being rejected and says, “Deep down I knew perfectly well that it doesn’t much matter whether you die at thirty or seventy, since in either case other men and women will naturally go on living. . . In fact, nothing could be clearer. . . . Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter” (Camus, 114). Meursault later states, “[The chaplain] wasn’t even sure he was alive, because he was living like a dead man. Whereas it looked as if I was the one who’d come up empty handed. But I was sure about me, sure of my life and sure of the death I had waiting for me. Yes, that was all I had. But at…
with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: Sign Language? c:
Stranger: no... not at all :(
You: That's okay
Stranger: are you talking shit to me
You: I pinky promise I'm not
Stranger: oaky... i believe you
Stranger: you are amazing
You: Now I'm talkin shit c:
Stranger: WHATD YOU SAY
You: I said your mom is a fat cow xD
You: Cuz its the first thing i thougth of
Stranger: how old are you…
The Stranger by Albert Camus is a french novel that exemplifies the idea of a mad protagonist. Meursault, the so called madman, is a french man living in North Africa whose conflicting existentialist views with both himself and those around him form the basis for the novel. Meursault’s eccentric behavior puts him peculiar situations and sends him spiraling down the path of murder.
One of the most difficult social concepts that Meursault has difficulty grasping is the idea of love. Not only…
Should We Talk To Strangers?
In This article, Stephanie Pappas says that having a conversation with strangers has become one of the most common things that is affecting people’s lives in American. A new study shows that riders of public transit prefer talking to strangers to being alone on the train. However, many people like to do something different while they are on their way somewhere. Many women are victim of strangers because many men talk to them with the idea to have sex; in contrast…
I gave three genuine compliments each day. One to my boyfriend, one to someone else I knew and the third to a complete stranger. This was a very easy task for me because I am a people person and not afraid to talk. As a matter of fact I’m always stopping and speaking to random people all over. Most people are a little timid to just start talking especially with complete strangers but not for me. I gave my boyfriend the following compliments in one week of being handsome, having a great smile, nice…
The Stranger novel ends after Meursault’s judgment. He only cares about shunning the “machinery of justice” that has condemned him to death. He believes that the only thing matter is the possibility of an escape to freedom. He remembers his mother telling him how his father once forced himself to watch an execution. Afterward, he vomited several times. Now, Meursault thinks an execution is really the only thing of interest for a man. He only wishes he could be a spectator instead of the victim. He…
Albert Camus and Existentialism
It’s weird to be different in this world. We are told in society to “be unique” and “be yourself”, but can you be too weird? In Albert Camus’ book The Stranger, several ideologies that are introduced do not conform to the world. Camus was an existentialist—he believed that life was meaningless and that we are here solely to exist. Feelings and emotions are inhibitors to living a good life, because they ultimately don’t matter…
Albert Camus' The Stranger is a story about Meursault, an honest man who lives in the moment yet seems to lack the certain emotional traits the normal human being would have. Meursault believes that the human life is meaningless and the fact that we are all born just to die influences his life and character.
The novel opens with Meursault receiving word that his mother has passed away. "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a telegram from the home: “Mother…
His inability to deal with events
that take hold of his life gets him killed. This novel shows how events in a persons life can make
them or break them. His shooting of the arab ended his life with a bang.
Tr. Matthew Ward, Vintage International: New York, 1988.…
THE STRANGER and THE ALCHEMIST
Belief and Response Essay
As one would make it through The Alchemist or The Stranger they would start to notice a clear separation of what each of these books portray. On one side you have The Alchemist which represents more of a positive outlook on life and following your dreams. On the other you have The Stranger which depicts more of a negative connotation on life. Although these two accounts seem far from each other, they present themes throughout the text that…
An Essay on the book Strangers from a Different Shore by Ronald Takaki
Concerning the question:
“In what ways did the experience of Asian immigrant women differ from that of Asian men? Use examples from at least two different Asian ethnic groups in your answer.”
February 8, 2008
Strangers from a Different Shore by Ronald Takaki
Since the beginning of time there has been a distinct division between the sexes. Through sheer definition there…