The Stranger – Albert Camus

April 1, 2016

     The book, The Stranger, written by Albert Camus, follows a young man, Meursault, after the death of his mother. Meursault is characterized as an unemotional, shy and effortless man. People are suspicious of him during his mother’s funeral as he keeps to himself, does not show any form of emotion, and refuses to see his mother before she is buried. Additionally, he is displayed as effortless, because he does not put in any efforts in his relationships and friendships. For example, his “girlfriend,” Marie, desperately wants him to marry her, however he does not put in any effort to make her happy and fulfill that dream of hers. Later on in the novel, Meursault commits a murder by shooting an Arab multiple times, and is immediately found and taken into court where he is accused of the murder and is possibly sentenced to death. In the jail he reminisces about how his life has drastically changed. He shows no fear or emotions, even after acknowledging the fact that he could be publicly hanged for the murder he committed.

     Albert Camus was an author who was very influenced by the meaning of life, and what it meant to live a fulfilled life. He did not believe in an after life, therefore he always argued that people should live life to it’s full potential, as you only had once chance at it. After reading this book, I did not feel as though The Stranger portrayed Camus’ theories on life. I did not understand how Meursault’s life was significant or meaningful, as he lived a very simple and normal life, until he was convicted of murder, and even after that, his life did not portray any form of significance. Additionally, I felt as though Albert Camus’s writing was extremely elaborate, detailed and lengthy. The book started off slow due to Camus’s excessive elaboratation on the setting of Maman’s funeral. Additionally, in the prison, Camus only discussed Meursault’s life living in the prison and going to court cases, which were not as eventful as I had hoped it would be. Albert Camus’s excessive details and elaboration made it difficult, at times, to concentrate on the novel as there were no exciting or interesting events that occurred.

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