The Stranger Essay

1301 Words 6 Pages
While reading The Stranger I noticed that traits that Albert Camus character depicts in the book are closely related to the theories of Sigmund Freud on moral human behavior. Albert Camus portrays his character of Meursault as a numb, emotionless person that seems to mindlessly play out his role in society, acting in a manner that he sees as the way he’s supposed to act, always living in the moment with his instincts driving him, and if the right circumstance presents itself the primal deep seeded animal will come out. I believe that most of the character’s traits fall under Freud’s notion of the Id and Ego mental apparatus, and don’t believe that his idea of the super-ego is represented in this book.
In the beginning of The Stranger
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Once again, there are no signs of emotion or grief to be found, and all that was driving him was his sexual instinctive impulses. Once again, this concept falls under Freud’s views of the human beings instinctual creatures driven by our sexual desires. According to Joan Riviere, Freud believes that one of our two Basic instincts is the sexual instinct, which is not only the inhibited sexual instinct, but it’s also the self-preservation instinct (37). According to James Strachey, Freud thinks the self-preservation instinct is appointed to our ego, which takes control over the Id’s demands/ instincts, by deciding whether they should be able to receive satisfaction (15). When making decisions though, the ego is a very submissive slave to the Id, and it is tempted by its needs often (Costigan 234). This to me says that the ego, more times than not, gives in to the Ids demand, which defines Meursault’s mannerisms perfectly.
Now I would like to discuss the correlation between the book and Freud’s notion of the superego. During the murder trial the prosecutor set up an array of witnesses to prove to the court that Meursault didn’t possess a moral conscience, or display any emotions like everyone else, and as the trial proceeds this notation proves to be true. To me this definitely doesn’t support Freud’s ideals of a Super ego. The reason I believe this is because Freud’s

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