"The Stranger" by Camus and absurdity

Essay by xxjb89xxHigh School, 10th gradeA-, March 2007

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Throughout the novel, "The Stranger", by Albertus Camus, the idea of absurdity in the world is explored. Camus displays his opinions on the world and his view that the world is in essence, meaningless. No action can be explained yet society constantly attempts to put logic to the world. This idea of the absurd is shown in the last chapter of the first part when Mersault shoots the Arab. Suspense builds due to the unpredictability of Mersault's actions and the apparent effect of the sun on his actions.

The last chapter begins as a normal day at the beach however, there is nothing normal about the novel The Stranger because it would disprove Camus's point that the world is absurd and there is no logical reason for any of its occurrences. After lunch, Mersault, Raymond and Masson head back to the beach for seemingly no reason. There Masson and Raymond recognize two Arabs one of which Raymond tells Mersault is his.

The two groups slowly walk towards one another slowing the nearer they get. Once they are in front of one another they begin fighting. Raymond is injured when his Arab cuts his arm and mouth. The Arabs back off and Raymond is taken to a doctor. When Masson and Raymond later return, Raymond says he is going for a walk but Mersault can tell he knows where he is going so follows him. Raymond returns to the beach where the Arabs are laying down. He walks towards them asking Mersault if he should shoot them. Mersault makes Raymond give him his gun trying to help Raymond understand the logical side of the situation because as part of society it is what he craves. Suspense builds as it seems to be them alone in...