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Comparison of Camus and Dostoevsky Essays

Decent Essays
Raskolnikov-A “Stranger” to Mersault?

Though written by completely different authors in completely different times and places, the works The Stranger and Crime and Punishment show many similarities in the actions and views of the protagonists. Raskolnikov and Meursault show similarities through their existentialist views of life, actions towards others, and wanting of escape from the real world or conscience world. These character similarities suggest similarities in the views of the two authors Fyodor Dostoevsky and Albert Camus. The two authors are trying to convey slightly different, yet almost identical existentialist views to the reader. These views can be seen very much in the characters of Meursault and Risk. Both
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Then to the reader’s surprise, Meursault goes swimming with a girl the day he gets back as if nothing had happened. While most would be in mourning, Meursault is already looking to forget this burden on his plans by totally disregarding it and completely moving on with no remorse or regret. Meursault is also very carefree when talking to the people who are deciding the fate of his life. The statements “I thought my case was pretty simple.” (Camus, 63) and “I said no-and that in a way, I was even interested in seeing the trial” (Camus, 83) show that Meursault talks to the police as if it were a normal thing to him. He doesn’t care that these are the people that are putting him in jail for the rest of his life. To him, jail is freedom and freedom is jail.
Both Raskolnikov and Meursault share the feeling that time and freedom are the only things that can burden them. They are both faced with the option of suicide as a substitute for incarceration, but neither of them accepts this fate. This is because they are really just as happy in jail than they were in the outside world. They don’t choose suicide. This is not because they are afraid of death, but because they are only certain of the uncertainty beyond it. This again reinforces their existentialist views. Raskolnikov and Meursault both have similar actions towards others. Raskolnikov is at times annoyed with everyone, from his closest friend Razumihin
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