Comparison of How Shusaku Endo in Wonderful Fool and Albert Camus in the Outsider Have Used Moral Issues to Develop Their Works

1585 words 7 pages
Comparison of how Shusaku Endo in Wonderful Fool and Albert Camus in The Outsider have used moral issues to develop their works

It is debatable whether morality is a code of conduct that is considered right by society or whether it is a code unilaterally decided upon by an individual. When we consider morality as a tool used by both Shusaku Endo in Wonderful Fool and Albert Camus in The Outsider, this debate holds immense relevance. Wonderful Fool, heavily influenced by Christian doctrine, addresses the degeneration of Japanese society and the way moral issues are presented in the novel reflects this. In Wonderful Fool Shusaku Endo looks upon morality as the value system defined by the Bible, where Jesus Christ is regarded as the epitome
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“Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday…I’ll come back tomorrow” (Camus 9). However he is not completely indifferent; truth is of great importance to him. Like Gaston he never wavers from his belief system, upholding objectivity without compromise. He is honest and true as a result. By the end of the text when Meursault is offered an alternative to execution in exchange for his faith in God he refuses. ”…with God’s help he would do something for me” (Camus 67) … [he asked] me if I believed in God. I said no” (Camus 68). He sees no need for a lawyer, “I could answer for myself” (Camus 66). His unwillingness to compromise or immersion in his ‘simple’ belief system turns Meursault almost into a martyr, dying for his belief. Meursault’s commitment to honesty to himself overrides the instinctive response of self-preservation. He is a non-conformist and does not understand society. This emphasizes how this judgmental society imposes its own belief system on individuals, requiring assimilation. Meursault, like Gaston, is consistent in his conduct, not lying once in the text, making him moral in his own mind. Similar to Shusaku Endo, Camus uses the contrast of the ideal characterised by Meursault to highlight a fault in the society he presents. Meursault’s objectivity demonstrates, through juxtaposition, the absurdity of our society. He comments on how murder is


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