Reaction Paper

2 February 2017

Reaction Paper: 2 The Stranger In Albert Camus’s The Stranger, he shares with the reader, the life of an immensely complicated character. The story is presented to the reader by the character himself in most of the story. The character’s name is Meursault, a detached and semi-normal shipping clerk.

Meursault appears to be rather stoic and is devoid of emotions. Meursault remains unaffected by passion and emotions throughout the story: however as the story progress towards the end Meursault is showing some feelings.Camus’s The Stranger is an example of existentialism and includes absurdism, as well as stoicism, some nihilism, and some naturalism and he shares with the reader examples of the aforementioned in almost every part of the story. Camus begins the story with the main character Meursault learning of the death of his mother after he receives a telegram. Meursault said “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.

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3) The reader is immediately introduced to the stoicism of Meursault. Meursault is without feelings as he apologizes to his employer because he has to take a couple of days off from work because of his mother’s funeral.He is an extremely strange fellow. At the funeral, he shows no bereavement: when asked if he wants to view his mother’s body, he refuses, and talks about the others who at the funeral. He is emotionless throughout the funeral and drinks coffee and smokes during the vigil. It seems that all that Meursault can remember is that during the long hot walk to his mother’s gravesite was the heat from the sun, his mother’s boyfriend Perez fainting, his mother’s casket being placed in the ground and dirt being thrown over it, and how happy he was to board the bus to go back to his home and bed in Algiers.Elements of the absurd can be supported by these events.

A day later he meets a female who once worked with him and he engages in a love affair with her. Once again, showing no emotions, only satisfying physical need, and ignoring the customary period of mourning for a loved one. Meursault views romance as a false illusion, he actually does not understand it. Here, it is revealed when Marie asks Meursault if he loves her: his response was careless and unassuming. Meursault was not sure if he loves her just as he was uncertain about the love for his mother. Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.

A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. The character Meursault characterizes this in the way he shows a lack of love for people who loves him. ” Meursault goes on a vacation with his mistress, and with his newly found friend a man with a questionable reputation.Meursault carries on as if he knows nothing of human sadness and loss. While vacationing on the beach Meursault and his friend get into an altercation with his friend’s girlfriend brothers. During the physical violence Meursault shoots and kill one of the men with the same gun he had taken from his friend earlier, ironically to keep his friend out of trouble. Camus does not truly give a valid excuse for the shooting except that it was a hot day.

Meursault is arrested and taken to trial.During the trial Meursault is not judged for the murder he committed but for but for him being devoid of humanity. It is ironic that at Meursault’s trial, the issue the court had with him, was not about the murder, but about the way he lived and acted (Camus, p. 141). Meursault’s character was placed on trial and he was found guilty of a lack of grief and compassion: the loss of his mother, his lack of remorse for murder. The judge and the jury find Meursault attributes guilty as charged and sentence him to death.Meursault turns down his right to appeal (p.

144). While in prison awaiting death Meursault rejects Christianity and denounces the mere idea that solace can be found in religion. Here, again the reader can see Absurdism when Meursault thinks that life is meaningless, and the world is lawless. Meursault sees joy in his execution because he believes “life is ridiculous. ” Final thoughts on Albert Camus’s “The Stranger” are that the character Meursault is an extraordinary socially unaware man with misguided ideas on life.Perhaps it was the way Meursault had been brought up as a child, or maybe his mother had similar thoughts. Meursault is introspected; this was his perception on life and the world.

It held no meaning for him because he either did not understand it or did not know the world. He lived a tortured existence because of it, never knowing true happiness. This left Meursault a terribly sad and lonely individual. The reader can only hope that he found relief from the life he thought was so meaningless. Nihilism. (n. d.

). Retrieved from http://www. nihil. org/ Introducing Camus; Markowitz

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