Analysis Of ' The Stranger1 ' By Albert Camus

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In his novel The Stranger1, Albert Camus gives expression to his philosophy of the absurd. The novel is a first-person account of the life of M. Meursault from the time of his mother 's death up to a time evidently just before his execution for the murder of an Arab. The central theme is that the significance of human life is understood only in light of mortality, or the fact of death; and in showing Meursault 's consciousness change through the course of events, Camus shows how facing the possibility of death does have an effect on one 's perception of life. The novel begins with the death of Meursault 's mother. Although he attends the funeral, he does not request to see the body, though he finds it interesting to think about the effects of heat and humidity on the rate of a body 's decay (8). It is evident that he is almost totally unaffected by his mother 's death – nothing changes in his life. In other words, her death has little or no real significance for him. When he hears Salamano, a neighbor, weeping over his lost dog (which has evidently died), Meursault thinks of his mother – but he is unaware of the association his mind has made. In fact, he chooses not to dwell on the matter but goes to sleep instead (50). It is when he is on the beach with Raymond Sintès and M. Masson and they confront two Arabs (who have given Raymond trouble) that Meursault first seems to think about the insignificance of any action – therefore of human existence. He has a gun and

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