The Stranger by Albert Camus

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In the novel, The Stranger by Albert Camus, Meursault the protagonist, becomes drawn into a “senseless” murder that has to face the absurdity of life and because of his actions, Meursault is presented as a danger due to his lack of “morality” to society. Meursault who is not able to take control of his life but respond to what life offers him believes in the simplicity of life. He tries to understand the living through logic and objectivity, which ultimately turns futile, as he himself cannot maintain proper control over his thoughts and emotions. From the interactions between Marie, to the murder of the Arab, and the meeting with the Chaplain, Meursault overcomes his indifferent views to form an opinion about what life really means. The central theme presented by Camus is how the threat of mortality becomes a catalyst for understanding the significance of life. In Part 1 of the novel, Meursault does not fully grasp the significance of life because of his absurdist way of life. Camus presents Meursault as a person who does not live life, but reacts to what life presents him. Meursault is incapable of understanding the metaphysics of the world due to his lack of emotions. The greatest understanding of Meursault is through his own mind; instead of being subjective, he is objective. “Behind them, an enormous mother, in a brown silk dress, and the father, a rather frail little man I know by sight” (22). His thoughts include “note-taking” details about his environment with an

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