The Outsider By Albert Camus

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Albert Camus’ novel The Outsider follows a young French Algerian, Meursault, who lives his day to day life detached from the rest of the world. Along with his indifference towards others, Meursault has alienated himself from society with his absurdist ideas and blatant honesty. Camus has structured the novel into two parts. In Part I we see Meursault’s routines, habits and general reactions to daily events around him. At the end of Part I Meursault kills an Arab man which eventually leads to his murder trial. Part II shows the murder trial and Meursault’s death sentencing. A common theme found within The Outsider is Absurdism. Camus wanted to show how Man’s constant search for meaning in life is pointless. Through foreshadowing, Camus is able to represent Absurd ideas found within the novel. The idea is first subtly represented in Part I and only upon critical investigation can it be seen again in Part II.
Camus has chosen to portray the absurdity of Meursault’s emotional detachment and lack of empathy early on in The Outsider. The novel begins with Meursault’s mother’s death. He accounts for the incident in a matter of fact manner by shortly stating “Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know” (9). This controversial reaction and lack of remorse becomes one of the main factors used against him later on in the novel. Camus has crafted this statement to shock the reader. It forebodes that the novel and its main character may not be ideal to our views. The fact that

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