Albert Camus The Stranger: Existentialism and Absurdism

Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual expertise in a hostile or detached universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of alternative and responsibility for the implications of one’s acts. This philosophy is actually the crux of the novel The Stranger and not solely serves as one of many themes however most likely the main purpose Albert Camus wrote the book altogether. Presented in first particular person narration via the eyes of Meursault, the detached and apathetic primary character, the novel serves to evoke the creed of existentialism through the embodiment of the philosophy in an individual.

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Meursault’s speech, thought, and actions are what Camus believed a person who innately possessed the tenets of existentialism would have. Existentialism, what it represents, the outcomes of its embodiment in an individual, and the validity of the doctrine altogether are all necessary aspects explored in The Stranger by Albert Camus.

“Maman died right now or yesterday possibly, I don’t know”.

These opening traces of the novel serve not only to introduce the novel but to summarize it as well. Rather than specializing in what’s important-his mother’s death-Meursault is focused on when exactly she died; whether it was yesterday or right now, for the reason that telegraph only acknowledged the funeral could be tomorrow. Right away, within the very first sentence, the reader is launched to existentialism incarnate. Meursault displays an entire and utter indifference to life manifested by a profound lack of emotion. He doesn’t care when his mom died, actually the truth that he has to attend the funeral altogether is probably the most troubling a part of this complete ordeal to him.

When he finally will get to the funeral, he couldn’t care much less about his mother-as he rejects the offer to open the casket-but is totally consumed by the times warmth. Camus does a fantastic job within the first part of the novel of demonstrating to the reader not only the philosophy of existentialism, but a corporal representation of it as well.

This corporal representation of existentialism is what makes The Stranger the unique guide it’s. As opposed to the multitude of books and manifestos approaching existentialism from a tutorial perspective, The Stranger approaches the philosophy by detailing a personality with the assumption innately in him and exhibiting how someone like this may behave. Neither the exterior world in which Meursault lives nor the internal world of his thoughts and attitudes possesses any rational order.

Meursault has no discernable purpose for his actions, similar to his decision to marry Marie and his decision to kill the Arab. The book, narrated by Meursault, is basically life detailed superficially by him. He talks concerning the climate, the food he’s consuming, concerning the things he did that day rather than how he feels or thinks of different folks, locations and things. This is how a person consumed with existentialism would behave and think-indifferently and apathetically. Meursault passes no judgment on individuals and is ultimate executed for killing an Arab for no obvious purpose.

The philosophy or theory of Existentialism is somewhat controversial, however nonetheless in lots of respects it has some notable and bonafide points. If one have been to actually take a glance at the universe, it would appear purposeless. And people do in reality possess the innate want, or quite compulsion, to elucidate things and have issues figured out-thus explaining their need to affiliate a purpose with the universe, even when it doesn’t necessarily exist. But what made this principle come about in the nineteenth century when it might have been realized centuries before? The cause is the tragedy and devastation the world noticed at this time-several world wars in particular. If we take a look at the lifetime of Albert Camus himself, it’s exhausting to deny the very fact that there’s a connection between the existentialism’s inception and private tragedy.

In 1914, Camus’ Father was drafted into WWI and killed in France. In 1934 he Married Simone Hié, but divorced her two years later. In 1939 he volunteered for service in WWII, however was rejected because of illness. In 1940 he wrote an essay on the state of Muslims in Algeria causing him to lose his job and transfer to Paris. In 1941 he joined the French resistance in opposition to the Nazis and have become an editor of Combat, an underground newspaper. These, in addition to many different incidents and occasions in Camus’ life influenced him in the sense that they shaped in him a bleak, pessimistic view of life. This perspective undoubtedly set the inspiration for his adoption of the speculation of existentialism.

“If there’s a sin against life, it consists maybe not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.” The level illuminated on this quote by Camus is that though some consider viewing life with despair to be mistaken, or sinful, in reality hoping for an after life, “another life”, or living a life of implacable grandeur is the true sin. Camus held strong to the idea of Absurdism, or the belief that humanity’s effort to seek out meaning within the universe will in the end fail-thus it’s absurd to attempt to discover that means or to stay as if there is a that means as a result of no such that means exists. While Absurdism might appear to be a synonym for Existentialism, the two are barely completely different. Existentialism makes the purpose that there isn’t any purpose or meaning within the universe. Absurdism goes a step additional to say that not solely is life purposeless, however any attempt at finding which means is totally absurd. Albert Camus, being the polarized man that he was, held more firmly to the belief of Absurdism than existentialism.

In writing The Stranger, Albert Camus championed the thought of existentialism, a philosophy he actually believed in it. But the philosophy of existentialism just isn’t free of criticism. Herbert Marcuse criticized existentialism, especially in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, for projecting sure options of residing in a contemporary, oppressive society, such as anxiety and meaninglessness, onto the nature of existence itself: “In so far as Existentialism is a philosophical doctrine, it remains an idealistic doctrine: it hypothesizes specific historical circumstances of human existence into ontological and metaphysical characteristics. Existentialism thus turns into part of the very ideology which it attacks, and its radicalism is illusory” What Marcuse is saying here is that existentialism makes the error of considering that simply because human circumstances are tragic and seem to lack a purpose, that they in reality do. Whether or not there could be objective to the universe is an ontological and metaphysical subject, not one that might be realized through historic occasions.

Existentialism and its brother philosophy Absurdism are philosophies that emphasize the distinctiveness and isolation of the person in a hostile and indifferent world, and stress the precise fact the universe has no discernable function. This philosophy is actually the crux of the novel The Stranger as Meursault, the indifferent and apathetic main character, embodies the tenets of existentialism intrinsically. Existentialism, what it represents, the outcomes of its embodiment in an individual, and the validity of the doctrine altogether are all necessary aspects explored in The Stranger by Albert Camus.


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