The Stranger by Albert Camus

Essay by k_chewlinUniversity, Bachelor's March 2003

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In Albert Camus's famous novel The Stranger there are many out of the ordinary occurrences, the theory of absurdity is thought of quite frequently throughout. The main character Meursault, gets himself into a predicament that develops Camus's philosophy of the absurd. His philosophy is that humans tend to impose a rational order on the world in the face of evidence that the world is absurd. According to Webster's Dictionary the word "absurd means clearly unreasonable" (Webster 4). This means that Camus is saying that all people think there is a certain type of order in a place that clearly has no order. I disagree with Camus' theory. I believe that there is an order to the world and most people do follow that order. It is not absurd to follow what, you feel, is right and it is not absurd to follow what, you know, is socially acceptable. It may not be very individual to constantly follow what is socially acceptable but it is certainly not absurd.

If anything is absurd it is the fact that Camus thinks that having an order to daily life is clearly unreasonable.

In the novel, The Stranger, Meursault has a bit of "off the wall" luck. In the beginning of the novel his mother dies after living in a home for three years. Meursault goes to the home to attend the funeral but displays no grief and acts as if nothing has happened. This is quite odd considering that that was his mother. Soon after he returned home from his trip to see his mother Meursault, while taking a swim, meets a woman by the name of Marie Cardona, a former co-worker. They spend the afternoon together, and then they see a movie, and then Marie spends the night with him.