Meursault in "The Stranger" by Albert Camus.

Essay by katourin January 2003

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Meaning of Life

Life is wonderful, but also hard. We struggle to find the meaning in our lives, but we can not accomplish it. There are many kinds of thoughts or philosophies of life; some think that life is already determined by God or destiny when they were born, while others think that they decide what they do by themselves. In "the stranger", Albert Camus creates Meursault as a protagonist, who does not think about anything deeply. Because of that, he can not really enjoy his life. However, finally, he thinks about his life when he faces death; he truly realized how to face to the absurd world, and thus becomes Camus' perfect existential hero.

Meursault is indifferent, and he thinks he perfectly enjoys each moment; however, the reality is he just wastes time and does not even know that. Meursault thinks that emotion is ridiculous because people are controlled by it, and regret or feeling sorry is a waste of time.

Thus, even when he faces his mother's death, he does not feel anything. He does not have interest in his mother's death, so he does not even know when his mother died. "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know"(3). Usually, one's mother's death significant and people think about their lives through her death. Even though it is not his, and he knows that he can not find it, he should think about what his life means from the relationship between death and life. However, it is possible that he does not care about it too much because he can not do anything in her death, but he does not care about his marriage, too. He has a girlfriend, named Marie, and when she asked him to get married with her, he was still indifferent, "Then she...