Existentialism in Camus’ “The Stranger” Essay

October 1, 2017 Philosophy

Existentialism is frequently defined as a philosophical motion or inclination. stressing single being. freedom and pick. As a consequence of the diverseness of places associated with this term it is impossible to specify exactly. There are. nevertheless. basic subjects common in existentialist beliefs. As is apparent through the root of the word. exist. there is a emphasis on definite single being and freedom of pick. Developed between the 19th and 20th centuries. this political orientation influenced literature greatly.

A premier illustration of the incorporation of certain facets of existential philosophy is witnessed in Albert Camus’s The Stranger. The usage of existential philosophy within his work aids in the development of his characters ; it determines how they will move and react to their milieus. The aforesaid actions are frequently alone due to the influence of existential philosophy. Meursault is the major character in The Stranger. He is considered the personification of existential philosophy. the experiential hero if you will. He is emotionally apathetic to others and. as the prosecuting officer of his instance words it. “a nervelessly ciphering monster.

” Meursault is alienated from society throughout the narrative as he accepts single duty for his alone patterned advance. Throughout Camus’s The Stranger there are mentions to an event that occurs at the beginning of the novel and exhibits ideals built-in to existential philosophy: the decease of Meursault’s female parent. His insensitiveness is introduced through the emotions. or lack thereof. that he displays upon intelligence of the decease of Maman. He apparently cares non for his ain female parent as is shown in his gap statements: “Maman died today. Or yesterday possibly. I don’t know. I got a wire from the place: ‘Mother deceased.

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Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours. ‘ That doesn’t mean anything. Possibly it was yesterday. ” He is more concerned with the clip of the decease instead than the fact that he has merely lost a loved one. In add-on. Meursault is more concerned about his milieus at the place and in the mortuary. instead than the fact that his female parent lies dead in a coffin. several pess from him. As the caretaker returns to near the coffin so as to give Meursault a last expression at his female parent. Meursault himself stops him. As the caretaker asks merely why he requests the coffin left closed the lone ground Meursault can give is. “I don’t know.

” During the funeral emanation he seems much more watchful to the Sun rays crushing down on him. taking to bury where he is and the undertaking at manus. The deficiency of compassion and refusal to act the manner society expects him to move are what basically make him an existential philosopher. Several mundane yet life changing events are besides taken into history by Meursault in an experiential attitude. He meets a adult female named Marie while swimming the twenty-four hours following Maman’s funeral. Despite the decease that had merely occurred. he finds joy in her company and does non allow his loss fuss him.

Subsequently on. Marie inquires as to whether Meursault would be interested in get marrieding her. In response he states. “I said it didn’t do any difference to me and that we could if she wanted to. ” Such an insensitive response is intrinsic to the beliefs of an experiential. This is merely exemplified as he answers the same manner when she queries him on his love for her. Marriage is considered by society to be an of import event in life yet Meursault wanders from the beaten way. in an illustration of the theory of being predating kernel or that one is in control of their ain fate.

He demonstrates this belief one time once more as his foreman offers him a opportunity to travel to Paris where he would achieve a alteration in life. Meursault is apathetic on the topic as he does non want more and was non dissatisfied by what he had now. The foreman was upset at this bend of events and Meursault merely returned to work saying. “I would instead non hold upset him. but I couldn’t see any ground to alter my life. ” He gives no rational account as to why he would desire to alter his life or non. merely that it was non of import and one life was merely the same as another. showcasing another basic criterion of experiential belief.

The flood tide of the book comes during Meursault’s test for the slaying of the Arab and yet another rendering of existential philosophy is divulged. Camus begins to roast the legal system as his characters test continues. doing evident the fact that Meursault is genuinely an foreigner. Camus conveys this by doing Meursault experience out of topographic point at his ain trail and hotfooting it along as if it is a minor insignificance. The prosecutor’s chief base of discourtesy is that Meursault did non exert emotions during his mother’s funeral. for he was guilty.

The prosecuting officer alienates him because he had non followed society’s current misconceptions when confronted with a state of affairs that one was supposed to sorrow during. In his shutting statements. the prosecuting officer says. “But here in the entirely negative virtuousness of tolerance must give manner to the sterner but loftier virtuousness of justness. Particularly when emptiness of a man’s bosom becomes. as we find it has in this adult male. an abyss threatening to get down up society ; ” as if to state that the slaying of the Arab was a direct consequence of the Stoic mentality Meursault held at Maman’s funeral.

Once once more society has rejected him by falsifying the truths of the instance and seeking him for that individual event instead than that which he was convicted for. In doing Meursault a alien from society and the legal system. Camus reveals his doctrine of existential philosophy. The extremely influential consequence of the existential philosopher beliefs on the literature of the 20th century is clearly revealed in the overall content and temper within Camus’s The Stranger.

The character of Meursault exhibits a bold existential philosopher attitude throughout the narrative that. on several occasions. explodes forth in a crisp contrast to his normal submissive personality ; a most noticeable juncture being his effusion during his episode with the chaplain when he snapped after holding an epiphany. It did non affair that he was being killed and the chaplain populating another twenty-four hours. for he had lived his life and taken clasp of his destiny ; therefore was certain as to what would come.

The chaplain had his empty supplications but Meursault was certain of himself ; his life and his decease. Another noteworthy juncture in which he offers an mentality on existential philosophy is during his stay in prison. He no longer had anyone or thing to worry approximately but himself. He is able to dissect himself and analyze what his hereafter will convey. and experiences several emotions frequently grouped with existential philosophy ; the most outstanding being fright and anxiousness. Society had declared Meursault absurd because of his grim singularity and through this. the rubric of the book may be derived.

Meursault has become a alien in his ain universe. a societal castaway punished for offenses which are both pathetic and yet the norm. Camus. through his use of Meursault. has exhaustively explained the absurdnesss of life and how they. along with the actions of Meursault. exhaustively portray his existential philosopher beliefs as they were meant to be. By providing Meursault with the nature to arise against preconceived misconceptions. Camus has managed to supply the reader with the ability to easy decode and derive penetration to the ideals of an existential philosopher.


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