The Rebel by Albert Camus

Decent Essays

Albert Camus and the Notion of Rebel

Published in 1951, ‘The Rebel’ by Camus traces the concept of ‘man in revolt’ through history and literature and history. Camus offers his perspectives on society and where the limits of governance should be set. Looking at various incidents in the course of history, Camus makes special mention of his life-long, passionate battle against the cruelty of capital punishment, and murder by trial. Camus also mention the support Communism gives to such judgment even if Communism need not necessarily facilitate direct methods to do so. Similar to his previous works, The Stranger and The Myth of Sisphyphus, Camus’ notion of The Absurd remains to be the spearhead of his philosophy and his rather peculiar approach to life.
“We are living in an era of premeditation and the perfect crime. Our criminals are no longer helpless children who could plead love as their excuse. On the contrary, they are adults and they have a perfect alibi: philosophy which can be used for any purpose – even for transforming murderers into judges.”
Camus uses this as his strike against what he sees as one of the world’s greatest evils – rationally justified murder. This strike became evident once Reflections on the Guillotine, one of his later works, was published in 1957.
But perhaps the major concern of the book is in the name itself, ‘The Rebel’, or the notion of rebellion to be exact. He defines the concept of rebellion, what it is that pushes a man to his precipice,

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