The Stranger is a novel written by Albert Camus and published in 1946. The novel was written in such a way that the themes and the deep understanding of the text are viewed as examples of reality. Although the writer Camus did not display himself as responsible but displayed various ways of philosophies like being absurd, natural, nihilist and determined. The main character in the novel is known as Meursault who was from Algiers but a citizen in France situated in North American. This was known as the Mediterranean region but Meursault never practised their traditional cultures. He killed an Arab whom he knew as French Algiers to show that he had no favour over anybody from the specific country. The story in the novel is divided into two different distinct parts.
In part one, the story begins by showing Meursault learning about the death of his mother where he expresses none of the expected emotions. These were not expected from somebody who has lost his or her beloved mother. He was supposed to view the body of his mother but he denied it and said no instead he was drinking coffee with milk and smoking in front of the mother’s coffin. He did not even express his feelings during burial only to comment about the others. Later he encounters his employee who was called Marie but was a former employee of his firm. After a short while they began a sexual relationship without having in mind that Meursault’s mother died one day before (Roof p. 2).
After few days Meursault went to help his friend and neighbour who was known as Raymond Sintes to take revenge on a Moorish girlfriend who was suspected of committing infidelity. Meursault could agree to write a letter to Raymond’s girlfriend on behalf of Raymond. This letter was to invite Raymond’s girlfriend and after arriving, Raymond asked to have sex with her and kicked her out at last. This was planned to be emotional revenge. Meursault could find it good and easy to help as he had no reason for not helping and this pleased Raymond so much. Meursault had no concern about how Raymond’s girlfriend will be emotionally hurt this was not his bother. He did not investigate Raymond’s story about unfaithfulness as he was drunk and he had no feelings of forgiving (Phoenix p. 3). This situation made him become annoyed by everybody as he could not hear advice from anybody.
The letter worked after the girlfriend come as she did not know what was happening. Raymond did as planned and started kicking her out where he was slapped by the girlfriend. The girlfriend had no energy to fight Raymond and she was beaten up. Meursault was ready to testify as he was there during the whole period of this time. Meursault testified during the court case and said the girlfriend was unfaithful but Raymond was set off with a warning as he had no evidence to show this is true (Camus 45). This made Raymond start being trailed by girlfriend’s brother and several Arabs friend as they wanted to revenge. Raymond did not understand the next move and continued with his day to day ahead.
Raymond not gets what was being planned next and went forward to organize how they could rest during the weekend. He invited Meursault and Marie to their friend’s beach house for the weekend. While they were here there enjoying their weekend they encountered Raymond’s girlfriend brother and an Arab friend whom they never expected. They attacked Raymond and wounded him with a knife before even saying the reason as Raymond was not even aware of what is happening. Meursault did not hesitate but removed the revolver and encounters the Arab but the Arab flashed his knife which made Meursault shoot him (Roof p.7). After making the first gun short he did not stop but made several gunshots to the same body.
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This is the part that shows Meursault time in prison, he could be found explaining his arrest and facing the upcoming trial. Meursault had a flexible life that made him tolerable as he used to adjustable. This comes to reality after he saw that his movement has been restricted no moving around as he used to do and he no longer satisfies his sexual desires as he used to with Marie (Roof p. 9). He could only pass his time sleeping or listing mentally the household properties he had in his apartment. During the trial, the attorney concentrated mostly on the unwillingness of Meursault to cry at the burial of his mother. But he explained that in his life he has never felt personal emotions to make him cry.
The prosecutor was more of drama than taking matters with their seriousness and claimed that Meursault is soulless and incapable so he deserves to die for this crime. He used all means to defend himself but his attorney general confronted him by saying that he expects the sentence to be light. Meursault was shocked after judgment stated that he has to be jailed throughout his lifetime. While in prison when he was waiting for his final date Meursault met with a chaplain whom he requested proffered turning to God ((Phoenix p. 6). This was a good request that was made during the wrong time and place. Although the chaplain was tempted to deliver Meursault from the challenge that was to be overcome. He could portray the character could be never stood to be judged.
Meursault used to mention people with anger claiming that people had no right to judge him for his actions, for who he is and said that nobody was given the capability to judge the other. But after he knew there was nothing other than to face the law he becomes comfortable and relaxed.
The Philosophy of Absurdism as Coined by Camus
The philosophy of being unperceptive is clearly demonstrated whereby Meursault could not be facilitated by anything to cry even after losing his beloved mother. He could also sleep with his girlfriend whereby they were planning to sleep with her and then chase her away. The philosophy of being murder is portrayed where an Arab man is killed as he was moving towards the bright light and indicates that killing an Arab man is meaningless. The philosophy of justice is highlighted this is shown where there was the official filing of the details concerning murder (Camus 78). After collecting details Meursault could also notice that after turning to Christ he will save him. The death of an Arab is seeming to be taken as if it is of use little or no attention is paid to those killed.
There is the force being applied as we find introspection about life by contemplating death by formal execution. The matter that the Arab man was shot dead by one gunshot and four other more did not do anything this was to show gentle in the indifference of the world. Camus tried to demonstrate what should be expected during all time when there are different prevailing instances. He could well show what was supposed to happen when an individual passes but her we can find it was totally different (Roof p.8). Meursault could even play sex games at a speed that was high which could not even be controlled any during the time of mourning. While waiting in prison we can find that chaplain had good communication link within the prison including whatever cost. The male gender is still put forward as women could be used as vessels and then left.
After Meursault found a newspaper about Czechoslovakian it was the paper about murder as it was the same case he was being accused of after he killed an Arab guy. In this case, the irony is clearly shown that even after behaving in a strange way he did not fear. After the case was proceeding he had a lot of fear because he did not know what to do as the stranger started the novel as somebody who could not change but as time passed there was a change (Camus 37). Meursault could call their girlfriend with a phone then make sex and then beat her and chase her away but as time went bye he changed. The period started when Meursault was to decide himself but he met himself having crossed the laws governing the country. At first, he was found fighting his girlfriend who made him be wounded by his brothers. Unfaithfulness is displayed where Raymond could be found cheating.
The theme of Irrationality of the Universe
The stranger is composed of Camus’s philosophical notion. All human being are equal but many do not appreciate so they live creating things to bring meaning to their life and others are changing their way of living. Although Meursault may live neither inside nor outside the whole world of his thoughts should posse’s rational order. He had no good reason to behave the way he used to such as the decision to marry Marie and deciding to kill Arab (Phoenix p. 7). The fact that things do happen without any good reason is very dangerous, disruptive and threatening to society.
The Meaninglessness of Human Life
Human life is of a given period of time and after a certain period, an individual dies. This is what makes human life equal and meaningless. Meursault understood that life is meaningless but he grasped this with a very slow pace that he came to realize when he met the chaplain (Camus 35). He realized that the universe is different the way a human being is different. After Meursault understood that everybody has to die and no one will escape death and that is why he does not mind what kind of death he will undergo. Even if he will face death through executed he did not fear, but he was asking who will come to celebrate as he will be executed.
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Importance of the Physical World
Meursault in the stranger was shown to be far more interested in what is physically seen around him than the social and emotional aspects. Meursault did not believe in earthly problems and this is why he was saying in the court that he killed an Arab for being disturbed by the sun (Roof p. 5).
Albert Camus novel has helped in learning the importance and reasons for living stress-free lives as with or without an individual will all go one peaceful death. Camus’s describes Meursault as somebody who lived a life without the stress of taking away strange things in the brain to avoid stress. Life is free as one can live without bothering what is not there and celebrate what is available. In the current world, people should avoid a situation that can lead to stress and make everything equal.
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