Albert Camus' "The Stranger". This essay was about the ultimate conclusion of death to ones life.

Essay by LorahisathugHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2006

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In Camus' The Stranger, the author exposes a tension between society and the protagonist's perspective of society. The reader comes to understand the pointlessness of existence through the protagonist's lens. Although society defines people by actions, Meursault rejects ideas of categorization and embraces a nihilistic view of life. This judgment passed on individuals is based on an individual's actions. Meursault realizes that everything that lives must die, therefore no matter what one does in life, one is still doomed to the same fate that everyone else is. Meursault makes all of his decisions based on his notion that his actions are unimportant because no matter how society classifies him, he will still die. It is Meursault's utter rejection of all things irrational that separate him from his fellow man and make him a "stranger".

The fact that Meursault doesn't cry at his own mother's funeral demonstrates how Meursault is disconnected from the normal human emotions of grief that usually accompany death.

Meursault is not even sure when his mother died. "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know"(3). He seems to view the rest of humanity as the "others," as if he is a mere observer rather than a part of humanity that he was born into. For example, the image of the elderly people gathered around the caretaker "nodding their heads" at Meursault conjures up the feeling of vultures surveying their prey. Even Meursault himself feels "that they were there to judge"(10). His behavior only reinforces this division as he finds himself unable to share in the emotional connection and experience of the vigil. For instance, when one of the women starts to cry, his only response to the tender display of love is, "I wish I didn't have to listen to her anymore"(10). He does...