The idea of the absurd in the stranger

Essay by damnitamitHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

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The world we live in is occupied with diverse religions and beliefs referring to how the world operates and the definitions of life itself. People of various cultures all possess different views upon life, yet the importance of the matter is dealing with the individual's viewpoint. People constantly attempt to identify or create rational structure and meaning in their lives, manifesting the view that there is no order or value in human life or in the universe. Absurdity is the condition or state in which humans exist in a meaningless, irrational universe wherein people's lives have no purpose or meaning. In the novel Stranger by Albert Camus, the main character is immersed in a world that is full of physical and psychological pleasures. Camus's philosophical notion of absurdity depicts absurdity bringing about the irrationality of the universe, the meaningless of human life, the importance of the physical world, and his indifference towards life itself.

Although The Stranger is a fiction novel, it has a sturdy tone of Camus's philosophical notion of absurdity. Camus portrays that individual lives and human existence in general have no rational meaning or order. But, because people have difficulty accepting this notion, they constantly attempt to identify or create rational structure and meaning in their lives. The term "absurdity" describes humanity's futile attempt to find rational order where none exists. Camus does not directly use absurdity in The Stranger, he uses it indirectly throughout the novels progression. Meursault's internal and external worlds do not possess any rational order. He has no reason for his actions, such as marrying Marie, or his decision of killing the Arab. Society is threatened by Meursault's irrational actions. The idea that things sometimes happen for no reason, and that events sometimes have no meaning is disruptive and threatening...