Essay On The Stranger, By Albert Camus

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In Sartre’s definition of existentialism, “man is born into a kind of void, a mud. He has the liberty to remain in this mud and thus lead a passive, supine, acquiescent existence” (Cuddon 317). People are born in certain conditions in life, which they have the freedom to stay in or get out of. In order to get out of the mud, one must take responsibility for their own fate. In The Stranger by Albert Camus, Meursault tries to escape the mud to make the magistrate confront his meaning of existence. Although the magistrate cannot achieve truth and justice, because he cannot be honest with himself about the uncertainty of his own faith, irony and diction reveal that when Meursault takes responsibility for his crime, in reality he achieves justice …show more content…

When the magistrate questions Meursault about the killing of the Arab, he explains to Meursault about his belief in God; “he told me he believed in God, that it was his conviction that no man was so guilty that God would not forgive him, but in order for that to happen a man must repent” (Camus 68). The magistrate thought that by believing in God, man can be purified of their guilt. He uses the belief in God to justify or purify a criminal’s crime. When criminals puts their fate on God, they will be forgiven by God, no matter what they did. In addition, while the magistrate continues the examination, he becomes anxious after he finds out that Meursault does not believe in God. “[The magistrate] sat down indignantly. He said it was impossible; all men believed in God , even those who turn their backs on him. That was his belief, and if he were ever to doubt it, his life would be meaningless” (Camus 69). The magistrate believed that everybody believed in God “even those who turn their backs on him.” Here he shows that makes himself think that everybody believed in God, so he can justify his unjustified acts. He feels uncertain about his faith but does not want to confront it, because when he does, “his life would be meaningless.” He tries to attain truth and justice by making criminals confess their sins and be purified, but since he is not even

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