The Paper of the Absurd: a Literary Analysis of the Stranger

essay B

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

In Albert Camus’ experiential novel The Stranger. the inanity of life and being is exposed and expounded upon in such a mode that the full foundation of spiritualty is shaken. The construct that drives this novel is one coined by Albert Camus himself. the “absurd” . Under the absurd. life is unpointed and holds no significance. One lives simply to carry through the duty of life. Besides. every possible action conceivable is governed by the inactive tools of opportunity and happenstance. The dynamic character. Meursault. is the primary mercantile establishment that Camus uses to use this construct.

He. Meursault. lives out a comparatively normal life of indifference until the polar flood tide of the fresh alterations him. It is at this point that he acknowledges the absurdness of his state of affairs and begins the inevitable credence of his ain futile being. Throughout the beginning of the novel. one can’t aid but to detect the indifference and “listless detachment” ( Oxford Companion 101 ) of Meursault. From the really first page. we begin to recognize the deepness of his deficiency of feelings: “Maman died today. Or Possibly yesterday. I don’t know” ( Camus 3 ) .

It is obvious that after his ain female parent dies. he shows no sentiment ( Magill 346 ) . Shortly after the funeral is complete. he grabs the manus of a adult female he one time knew and rapidly forgets the incidents of his tragic loss. The deepness of his indifference flows throughout the full novel. “I said I didn’t believe anything except that it was interesting” ( Camus 32 ) . “I told her [ Marie ] that it didn’t average anything” ( Camus 35 ) . “For some ground. I thought of Maman. But I had to acquire up early the following morning…and I went to bed without any dinner” ( Camus 39 ) .

As one can state. Meursault has an copiousness of void as it relates to feelings. He feels nil for anyone including his loving girlfriend. his lone mentioned friend. his ain female parent. or even himself ( Schellinger 1289. Brombert 121 ) . He attempts no ideas at explicating the existence or anything of the nature. He merely plays the function of adult male as the personification of “cosmic indifference” ( Books Abroad 234 ) . He cares for nil and expects nil to care for him. He in his entireness is the perfect illustration of one in the early phases of the absurd.

He recognizes that life has no significance but he hasn’t reached beyond that point. Therefore far. the lone true manner to depict Meursault is a adult male of nihilistic beliefs ( Girard 519 ) . Behind the scenes of Meursault’s life. the tools of opportunity and happenstance are determining his hereafter. for the good or bad. one can non be certain. One series of coinciding occurrences proves themselves to be the most annihilating of all. Meursault happens to hear the rumours of a adult male named Raymond. Later that twenty-four hours. he happens to knock into him in the hall. Raymond happens to hold nutrient in his flat and Meursault was a small hungry.

They both went up and ate and Meursault happens to detect the patch on Raymond’s manus. Raymond happens to inquire Meursault to compose a note that was designed to socially destruct Raymond’s rip offing kept woman. Meursault’s indifference prevails and he doesn’t head composing it. The note was a success and these two people happens to go friends. Raymond’s friend happens to ask for the two for a weekend on the beach and Meursault happened to be free. The three work forces happens to take a amble down the beach together and knock into the Arabs that Raymond has a job with.

Raymond happens to steal Meursault his gun so he can take the Arab on. adult male to adult male. Raymond wins and the Arabs flee. coincidentally down the beach. The three work forces head place but Meursault happens to desire to remain. He happens to bury the gun in his pocket and walks down the beach. He happens to knock into the Arab that Raymond hit. The two stare off. under the abnormally hot Sun. The Arab pulls a knife and the Sun happens to hit it at an angle that puts a blaze into the oculus of Meursault. As a consequence. Meursault automatically reacts and squeezes the trigger of the gun. firing one shooting into the caput of the Arab. killing him immediately.

This is the point that opportunity loses it’s keep upon Meursault. He. in a sudden idea. realizes the absurdness of the universe and that his full life. every bit good as being. is gratuitous and happens on opportunity ( Books Abroad 234 ) . Meursault so takes the first stairss towards a ego controlled being and fires four more shootings into the cadaver of the Arab ( Hunter 26 ) . Now. he has to the full acknowledged the presence of the absurd but has yet to accept it. He is still populating in his shell of ignorance that can and will forestall him from any rational addition. His indifference has yet to raise.

He sits through test. imprisonment. entreaty. and re-imprisonment. all with the degage feeling of uncaring. It will non be until he accepts absurdness that he can coerce himself to experience anything. The hardest portion for Meursault is really accepting the absurd because of the deductions behind it. For him to accept. he would hold to to the full acknowledge that life. in fact. has no significance and ne’er will hold any significance. Besides. he’ll have to hold that he himself has no intent other than to populate out his life under the premise that after decease. he can populate no more.

This mentality is difficult for anyone to hold on. particularly for those who spend the bulk of their lives seeking to apologize their being and reply the inquiry. “Why are we here? ’ . For Meursault to accept the absurd. he will hold to see a Cogito-Ergo-Sum-Renee Descartes minute and wholly rethink everything he has of all time thought earlier. For this to go on. he must foremost raise the oppressive drape of indifference he has been punished to for so long. “It was at that exact minute that the chaplain came in” ( Camus 115 ) . Once once more. opportunity has turned the tabular arraies.

Meursault. being an Atheist. refuses to see any chaplain but one randomly walks into the room and efforts to change over our beloved Meursault. At first. he brushes off the efforts and sees it as a mere irritation. Then. the priest gets wholly excessively relentless and Meursault catchs with the strength of a atomic missile. He shouts lewdnesss. “I was pouring out on him everything that was in my bosom. calls of choler and calls of joy” ( Camus 120 ) . It is at this point the Meursault really moves beyond his indifference and into a universe of feelings.

After the priest left the cell. Meursault laid on his bed and merely thought. It was at this minute that complete credence of the absurd set into his head. At first he accepted the thought that the life of a Canis familiaris was deserving merely every bit much as the life of a adult female ( Camus 121 ) . And so. he came to the realisation that he himself was deserving every bit small as everything else. It was at this minute that he accepted the most controversial section of the absurd: the impression that being is ineffectual ( Brombert 121 ) .

When one wholly accepts the absurd. felicity is certain to follow. Happiness and the absurd are two boies of the same Earth. They are inseparable” ( Marino 491 ) . At last. Meursault can joy in the freedom of the absurd. He all of a sudden comes to the realisation of why his Maman attempted to populate life once more: she excessively accepted the absurd. Now. with felicity and credence of the absurd. Meursault is freed from all allusion and has the ability to populate life once more. committed to the absurdness of life and all it entails ( Beacham 4060 ) . For my concluding point. I would wish to analyse the deductions behind this novel as they relate to faith.

The cardinal beliefs behind all signifiers of faith a regulating divinity or divinities. some kind of an hereafter. and a purposeful life. In this novel. the thought of a divinity is indirectly and straight obliterated. The thought of the regulating divinity is replaced with that of opportunity and tip ( Books Abroad 234 ) . The belief of an hereafter. either good or bad. is once more disowned by Camus in this novel. “There is no infinity ; hence. all must be done in this life…” ( Beetz 4059 ) . With no divinity or hereafter. the object of faith is nullified.

The concluding and most celebrated belief of most faiths is the thought that life has intrinsic significance. which normally involves a deity’s program. This belief is the driving force behind a significant sum of Christian actions. “…life has no significance ; there is no hope for it to of all time hold meaning…” ( Beetz 4059 ) . With this statement. yet another philosophy of religion is left as ruins to the novel of the absurd. The point I am seeking to convey is one that the absurd can non coexist with faith. It is for this ground that few people will of all time really make the point of true felicity and credence that their life is worth the same as the household pet.

Sadly. this besides means that few people will really of all time make the point of enlightenment. If merely everyone could see the points made in Albert Camus’ oculus opening fresh. To reason this essay. I offer a review of the rational development of adult male through the interactions of one adult male. Man first begins with the period of indifference. the point in life in which the well being of others and perchance even himself are unimportant and are therefore ignored. Then. he progresses to the phase in which he forgets the attentions of others but dwells on the newfound control over his ain life as he acknowledges the absurd.

Finally. he reaches a province of cloud nine as he to the full accepts the absurd and commits himself to it. Merely when adult male reaches this concluding measure. nevertheless. has he reached the point of enlightenment and pure felicity. Again. the lone political orientation barricading his way to flawlessness is faith. When adult male overcomes this barrier. the possibilities are eternal. Meursault was simply a tool of application used by Camus to demo the universe a mirror image of itself. When the universe overcomes its meaningless jobs and its ineffectual efforts of peace. it can truly make the blissful province of repose.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member
unlock