Three Themes in the Stranger by Albert Camus

1435 words 6 pages
TROIS THEMES DANS L’ETRANGER D’ALBERT CAMUS

In the novel, The Stranger, author Albert Camus confronts some important issues of the time, and uses the singular viewpoint of the narrator Meursault to develop his philosophy and effectively weave together themes of absurdity, colonialism, and free will. Through the progressive disruption of Meursault’s life and his characterization, Camus presents the absurdity of the human condition along with the understanding that a person can actually be happy in the face of the absurd. Camus also intentionally sets the story in the colonized country of Algeria, and hints at the racial tensions that exist between French-Algerians and Arabs.
…show more content…
But Meursault is convinced that happiness comes not from searching for meaning in such an irrational world, but from living concretely in the here and now, without any false illusions. During his final day in court, he assesses his own happiness: “Pendant que mon avocet continuait a parler, la trompette d’un marchand de glace a resonne jusqu’a moi. J’ai ete assailli des souvenirs d’une vie qui ne m’appartenait plus, mais ou j’avais trouve les plus pauvres et les plus tenaces de mes joies: des odeurs d’ete, le quartier que j’aimais, un certain ciel du soir, le rire et les robes de Marie…” (pg. 51)

Camus intentionally sets the story around the city of Algiers, following France’s colonization of Algeria. While the theme of colonialism may appear to be a minor one, it is nevertheless significant in the events of Meursault’s life. This is clear in the novel’s predominance of French characters, despite their minority status there. Indeed, in his narrative Meursault only ever names and interacts with French-Algerians. Although Arabs are not depicted as socially inferior, Camus does not bestow names on them, nor does he grant them any appeal or dimension. We are introduced only briefly to the deformed Arab nurse, and given too little insight into the nameless group of Arabs that follows Raymond and

Related

  • 'the Stranger' and the Absurd
    1316 words | 6 pages
  • Disney Theme Park to India
    3966 words | 16 pages
  • The Strangers That Came to Town
    863 words | 4 pages
  • Common Themes of Edgar Allan Poe
    3175 words | 13 pages
  • Themes in Othello
    995 words | 4 pages
  • Number Three
    1008 words | 5 pages
  • Three Day Road: Character Development
    1919 words | 8 pages
  • Albert Einstein Research Paper
    1012 words | 5 pages
  • 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
  • The Future of Theme Parks in International Tourism
    4406 words | 18 pages