The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay

1546 Words7 Pages
The French philosopher Roland Barthes once said, “Literature is the question minus the answer” (Barthes 2). This statement hold true for most works of literature that explore a central question. According to Barthes, literature often raises a question, but leaves it up to the reader to determine the answer. The Stranger by Albert Camus is an excellent example of how a central question, “Is there value and meaning to human life?” is raised and left unanswered, resulting in different interpretations of the answer, depending on the viewpoint of the reader. Although the question is never explicitly answered, Camus offers perspectives on what French society regarded the answers to be, such as connections with others, elusion to freedom, and faith in religion and God.
In order to achieve a deeper understanding of what this quote really means, an analysis of the context of the quote must be established. This quote coincides with Barthes’ philosophy during his transition from structuralism to post-structuralism. In 1968, Barthes wrote an impactful essay, Death of the Author. In this essay, he explored a radically different viewpoint of authorship than what was popular at the time. According to his viewpoint, a work of literature was not finished when published by its’ author, he wouldn’t even consider it a complete work. According to him, “to give a text an author is to impose a limit on that text, to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing” (Barthes 5). Barthes did

More about The Stranger By Albert Camus Essay

Get Access