Comparison of How Shusaku Endo in Wonderful Fool and Albert Camus in the Outsider Have Used Moral Issues to Develop Their Works

1612 Words Sep 19th, 2008 7 Pages
Comparison of how Shusaku Endo in Wonderful Fool and Albert Camus in The Outsider have used moral issues to develop their works

It is debatable whether morality is a code of conduct that is considered right by society or whether it is a code unilaterally decided upon by an individual. When we consider morality as a tool used by both Shusaku Endo in Wonderful Fool and Albert Camus in The Outsider, this debate holds immense relevance. Wonderful Fool, heavily influenced by Christian doctrine, addresses the degeneration of Japanese society and the way moral issues are presented in the novel reflects this. In Wonderful Fool Shusaku Endo looks upon morality as the value system defined by the Bible, where Jesus Christ is regarded as the
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His simple act of kindness disgusted them. This contrast between the ideal (embodied by Gaston) and reality (of the character Japanese society) demonstrates Shusaku Endo’s disapproval of the judgemental society that Japan had become.

Contrast is further evident in the following examples: the scene at “Hilltop Hotel” (a brothel), the incident at Sanya where “even the police…close their eyes to...prostitution” and “extortion, theft and other such crimes flourish” (Endo 115). By playing out Gaston’s story in these places, which are hedonistic, dark and cruel, Gaston’s kindness and compassion is even more apparent as he unwittingly helps the prostitute in need. The writer places Gaston in the company of a murderer, Endo, “who was able to kill a man in cold blood” (Endo 118). Endo (the character) embodies the Japanese in a way that suggests they are self-serving as he acts without regard for Gaston trying to satisfy his own needs. Despite Endo’s aggression Gaston’s response to Endo is one of concern for him as opposed to worry for himself. This relationship further emphasises the idea of the Japanese being too egotistical by contrasting Endo’s selfishness with Gaston’s unselfishness.

Albert Camus has a similar approach in his choice of characteristics for his principle character. Meursault, as the title implies, is an outsider and apathetically goes about life. Meursault
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