Some of his moral views, I believe, made even Camus uncomfortable. In 1942, he wrote The Stranger, a story of death, revenge, and murder, told blandly by one who awaited a prison execution. Critics note the moral and emotional indifference in that story, a coldness that seems to conflict with Camus’ 1947 novel, The Plague. That tale depicts how different inhabitants of a city manage the realities of a deadly pestilence, as each personally experiences the very real threat of death. Are the two stories in conflict? Camus would reject the claim, saying that both novels are simply case studies in the absurd. Moreover, if the critic found this answer unacceptable, he might then add that the absurdity of life makes even that
In 2015, the Syrian civil war has displaced more than 4 million to refugee camps in neighbouring countries like Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Refugees have since began their journey, seeking rumoured employment opportunities and social benefits in destination countries, on boats or pay smugglers without any guarantee on safety and welfare. The influx of refugees on EU’s shores stunned its members with pressures of uncontrolled migration and rising political, security and social issues. The current crisis exposed EU’s incompetence in creating swift and unanimous decision from its states to deal with the mass of refugees. Political rifts among its governments have forced self-serving resolutions in order to prevent the crisis from escalating any
In The Myth of Sisyphus, Sisyphus is an absurd hero because he realizes his situation, does not appeal, and yet continues the struggle. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that The Stranger is, in narrative style, also showing us an absurd hero, or the beginning of an absurd hero in Meursault.
In the written texts “Myth of Sisyphus” and “The Stranger”, French author Albert Camus vividly portrays parallelism between his fictional characters. Through Meursault’s narrative and time spent in jail in “The Stranger”, Meursault reveals his emotionally removed temperament, earning himself the status of an outsider. In contrast to Meursault, Sisyphus was never labeled as an outsider, but did not bring joyous thoughts among the gods; Sisyphus was a burden to the gods. Although Meursault and Sisyphus have their differences, their love for life, defiant behavior toward their punishments, and their acceptance of their fates are the parallels between them.
During the second half of the book is where we see the most connections to The Myth of Sisyphus. Meursault is imprisoned for the crime he commits. Sisyphus is condemned to “ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain” for his crime. It is in the courtroom, while on trial, that he becomes conscious to the fact that he is a criminal and that all of the people hate him not only for his crime, but also for the way that he lived his life when he was a free man. He states, “It was then I felt a stirring go through the room and for the first time I realized I was guilty.” It is in this “consciousness” that it becomes tragic. He finally realizes the “whole extent of his wretched condition.”
The emotionless anti-hero, Monsieur Meursault, embarks on a distinct philosophical journey through The Stranger. Confident in his ideas about the world, Meursault is an unemotional protagonist who survives without expectations or even aspirations. Because of his constant indifference and lack of opinions about the world, it can be denoted that he undergoes a psychological detachment from the world and society. It is through these characteristics that exist in Meursault that Camus expresses the absurd. Starting from the very first sentence of the book, “Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.” (Camus 1) The indifferent tone from these short sentences convey a rather apathetic attitude from Meursault’s part. Not only does he not
In Albert Camus’s work of literature The Stranger, the characterization of Meursault plays and valuable role in outlining the meaning of this novel. Meursault is the main character in this book and the story follows a part of his life form his first person point of view. Meursault, like the author, does not believe in God, or any religion for that matter. Throughout this story it is revealed that meursault lives a highly indifferent life, and physical impulses such as sex and smoking make him happy. Meursault is tried for the murder of an Arab, but the court case is unusual in the fact that it is based on evidence and character witnesses. Because Meursault finds no value or meaning in life it brings questions of moral into his
Camus insists that there are always choices and the only choice unavailable is not to choose. This idea is portrayed through the decisions that Daru and the prisoner make in the face of dilemmas. However, Camus places more value in the responsibility that influences both Daru and the prisoner to make certain choices. He acknowledges that humans can access certain freedom through accepting their eventual death. The prisoner achieves self-awareness when Daru gives him a life and death choice, but realizes the inexorable truth of futility in fleeing from his punishment. .He makes his own decision and holds accountable for the murder. Meanwhile, Daru’s choice is a true dilemma: He makes his decision based on what he believes is the right thing
The murder of the Arab is used by Camus to compare the sun and society. Society oppresses and overpowers those who refuse to assimilate and embrace "normality." Meursault is the epitome of abnormality and is thus the main target of society's, of the sun's, wrath. “The sun was the same as it had been the day I’d buried Maman, and like then, my forehead especially was hurting me..” (58-59). The day he buried his mother he did not cry rejecting the norms of society. Not crying at his mother’s funeral caused anger and confusion which the motif of the sun burns on
Irony in part one establishes Meursault’s confliction with society as he is seemingly unaffected and ultimately indifferent over an occurrence that universal sentiments would perceive as utterly devastating. When Meursault is faced with the death of his mother in the genesis of the novel, he remarks, “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know” (Camus 1). The immense indifference of Meursault’s morality when it comes to the death of a human being, let alone his own mother, allows readers to draw a contrasting line - from the very first sentence - of Meursault’s moral behavior relative to what society would deem as “acceptable”. Camus uses this expectation defying event to invoke the reader’s stance on the human condition’s tendency to mourn
The stranger by Albert Campus initially portrays Meursault empathetic and disconnected with the mortality, but in the end Camus shows that perception of person can change when significant of human life can be understood while your own death is around. In the beginning of the novel, Meursault is stated to be like an infant, but eventually he is shown to gain more maturity due to being more connected to his surroundings. Though, throughout the novel Meursault seems to take a role of villain due to his empathetic and absurd behavior, but in contrast to he is deadly truthful who didn’t lie even save his own life and that is the reason Camus strives to potray Meursault as a heroic figure. The events that make significance impact on Meursault’s life are the death of his mother, death of Arab and ultimately his own death..
Eddins’ argument of the relevance of Camus’s work to Hemmingway’s is delineated in the Santiago and Sisyphus’s similarities. Both are lone men who are ,”engaged in an isolated, repetitive struggle that must end in defeat.” (2). Only their stubborn spirit and determination drives them despite their unforgiving environment.
In 1921, Camus published The Myth of Sisyphus. In the story, Sisyphus is damned for all eternity to roll a rock up a mountain only to have it roll back down when he reaches the top. In Camus’ analysis, he characterizes Sisyphus as the true absurdist hero because he refuses to resist the futile and pushes the rock along with no hope for success and no fear of failure. Thus, Sisyphus settles for the reality he is dealt by the gods. The story ends with the famous line “one must imagine Sisyphus happy” (The Myth of
Albert Camus, born in colonized Algeria, a father to absurdism, and author of The Stranger confronts the philosophical themes of purpose, integrity, and passivity. The Stranger’s main character, Meursault, is a laconic man whose passive actions and brutal honesty lend to connections in his court trial. Those of which condemn him to execution. Meursault falls victim to his complete honesty, complete passivity, and disregard for the purpose of action. He is straightforward, and his actions usually follow his thoughts. Actions and decisions that most average people regard as serious, Meursault regards as arbitrary. Meursault’s exemplification of absurdism proves to not only lend to his characterization, but as a comfort in his death as well.