(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

The Outsider by Albert Camus

            "The Outsider," also known as "The Stranger," is a novel by Albert Camus that was published in 1942. The novel is based on the life of Meursault – an Algerian who supposedly killed an Arab whom who he recognized while in French Algiers. Throughout the novel, Camus focuses strongly on the fundamental values of society, and how society tolerates people who do not conform to these values. Camus achieves this by incorporating aspects of existentialist philosophy in the novel. This is portrayed by creating an emphasis on the irrationality of the universe, and the importance of the physical world. These concepts capture the uniqueness and isolation of Meursault's character. This greatly accounts for his difference in society. .
             The concept of absurdism is a key aspect of existentialism. In philosophy, absurdism is the belief that human existence is purposeless. This notion is explored throughout the novel with numerous examples. In the first few chapters, a lot of emphasis is put on the death on the death of Meursault's mother. It is immediately clear that her death doesn't seem to have a big effect on him, "Mother died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours. That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday." The opening sentences of the novel embody very well Meursault's absurdist outlook on life, his emotional indifference and detachment to people, and his passive but quiet alienation from the rest of society. He doesn't even know which day his mother died, and to him, it "doesn't mean anything" anyway. Meursault responds in this way, as he believes that his feelings or reactions to her death shouldn't affect anybody, including his mother, because she is dead. .
             The way Meursault handles his mother's death also emphasizes the 'accept everything' viewpoint that existentialists seem to have.

Essays Related to The Outsider by Albert Camus

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question