"The Stranger" World Literature Reading

Essay by k8lyn22High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2004

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The Stranger World Literature Reading

1. Camus, Albert. The Stranger. Trans. Matthew Ward. New York: Random House, Inc.,


2. Albert Camus wrote The Stranger. He was born on November 7, 1913, in Algeria, and he died on January 4, 1940, in an automobile accident. His itinerant agricultural laboring father died in World War II in the Battle of Marne. His illiterate charwoman mother soon suffered from a stroke after her husband's death, permanently impairing her speech. While growing up, Camus suffered from tuberculosis ending his athletics participation. A lycée scholarship gave him the opportunity to study from 1924 to 1932. He held various jobs working for places such as the weather bureau and automobile accessory firm. He lived in a house with his mother, brother, maternal grandmother, and paralyzed uncle. Poverty and illness plagued Camus and appeared in The Stranger. Camus became a political journalist writing in an anti-colonialist newspaper and for the anti-German resistance movement.

Later, he edited the Combat, an important underground newspaper. During World War II while in Paris, he developed and coined his philosophy of "the absurd" life having no true meaning. A large influence on him and his writing was World War II with Hitler and the Nazis slaughtering millions of people during the war. Numerous aspects of Camus's life drove his writing toward the morbid.

3. The main character in The Stranger is Meursault. Meursault shows no emotional connection to the world around him. He is a solitary figure. In the beginning of the novel, his mother dies, and he shows no remorse. He does not want to view his mother's dead body and smokes in front of her body. The environment around Meursault affects him the most. Often times he escapes from the real world because of the heat, and his...