Absurdity in Albert Camus’s the Stranger

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From Albert Camus's The Stranger his idea of absurdity are shown from the main character Meursault. His lack of feeling and emotions, also his belief of the meaning of life portray him as an existentialist. Meursault does not get involved or care about anything else, he just want get up, go to the same job and go home at the end of the day. By doing this, Camus wants the readers to know that life is absurd and meaningless. Throughout the story, there are several occurrences where Meursault only captured the physical details instead of his emotion, which reinforce the idea of existentialism.

          When he received the news of his mother's death and had to take days off work to attend the funeral, he felt annoyed because of an event his daily routine was disrupted because of something he did not care for and treated this as a burden and complete ignored the fact that the women that raised him is gone. Maman 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. (1.1.1) During the Furnal, Meursault focused on the black with pin-striped trousers the caretaker was wearing and the casket as walnut-stained planks instead of mourning for his mother's death. During the court sentence for the murder of the Arab  He describes his lawyer's tie as odd-looking and with broad black and white stripes. It shows that Meursault viewed this as a unless event instead of his sentencing for his crime.

          When his boss complains about Meursault taking so many days off, he said It's not my fault complete over his mother's death and blamed the funeral for his absence. Meursault struggles throughout the story for find his happiness or even something he cared about. Main example is Marie, shortly after meeting him, Marie falls in love with Meursault, but the love wasn't both ways. When Marie proposed to him, Meursault wasn't in love with her. He simply said yes because she asked and she wanted to, so he just went along, not out of happiness. When he was sentenced to death, he simply accept the terms and went along with it everybody knows life isn't worth living.(2.7.11) Meursault's believes that life is meaningless which direct back to the idea of existentialism.

          Meursault's idea of happiness is different from regular people like Marie, Marie's happiness is being in love with Meursault and getting married, despite the fact that the love between them is one way. When he was sentenced to death and waiting in jail, the Chaplin wanted to talk to him, but he refused all three times. But the Chaplin came anyway trying convince Meursault about God and salvation, but their difference of belief make the conversation rather awkward and hostile. Meursault already accepted the terms and said there is thing God can do for him, when he said, "Have you no hope at all? And do you really live with the thought that when you die, you die, and nothing remains?" "Yes," I said.(2.5.15) The Chaplinis not convinced and told Meursault that he has to cleans his souls from the burden sin. Meursault answered by saying I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God.(2.7.15)

A large crowd of hateful spectators to be present at his execution so he can fulfill their happiness.

          At the end, Meursault realized that he never needed to find the happiness he desired because he had it the entire time. The only way to be happy in life is to accept this absurdity and get rid of all social constructions placed upon the person, with this concept. even he already had the happiness he was seeking, but he never realized it

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Absurdity In Albert Camus's The Stranger. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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