Wednesday, January 22, 2020
The Stranger Essay -- English Literature
The Stranger The Stranger exhibits a society that has confined itself with a specific set of social standards that dictate the manner in which people are supposed to act. This ideology determines the level of morality, and how much emphasis should placed on following this certain "ethical" structure. Albert Camus's main character, Meursault, is depicted as a nonconformist that is unwilling to play society's game. Through Meursault's failure to comply with society's values and conform to the norm, he is rejected and also condemned to death by society. He is tried for the crime of murder, but is not judged solely on his actions during the aforementioned crime. He is judged on his specific actions that society regards as absurd according to its social standards. Meursault's different outlook on life differentiates him from the society around him, and as a result, he is deemed a threat to society's moral standard. He is unwilling to relinquish his philosophy and subsequently is convicted due to his inability to conform as society intends. "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know." Meursault's character is unable to physically express emotion regarding any situation. Even through the first person narrative that Camus employs, the reader is unable to get a grasp as to Meursault's personal feelings regarding certain events in the novel. The event of his mother's death seems to have no effect on Meursault. He is neither saddened nor overjoyed by the news of his mother's death. During the funeral, he is unable to show any emotion, and gives the reader no insight as to what he is thinking or feeling. The fact that he did not cry and the fact that he did not pay his respects comes back to haunt Meurs... ...ble and unknown. The Stranger reveals the condemnation of man who was unwilling to conform to the norm of Algerian society. His unconventional philosophy concerning life made him an outcast and used as a scapegoat for society's failure to uphold its own moral standard. It is the fear of Meursault's ideology that condemns him. It is the fear that his ideology would affect others from conforming to society's standard that convicts him and sentences him to death. Society had to eradicate any threat that might hinder conformity. Meursault refuses to become another robot of society and adhere to the commonalities that occur in society. Meursault had to live his life according to his ideology not that of society. Only by realizing the absurdity of life does Meursault truly live a fulfilled existence. "I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again."