The Stranger: Existentialism Essay that analyazes the use of Existentialism withing the novel The Stranger.

Essay by JediLowHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2002

download word file, 2 pages 3.3 1 reviews

Downloaded 157 times

Existentialism, the belief that mankind is entirely free and therefore responsible for their actions, is shown in Camus's novel, The Stranger. Through the various characters (namely Meursault) and elements of the story the beliefs of existentialism are clearly demonstrated in The Stranger.

Meursault is the apex of the existentialism belief. Once Meursault begins following the path of the existentialism beliefs (which is made apparent in the story he did not follow at a time) Meursault's life is seen as an abomination in the eyes of the world and yet shows one of the pillars of existentialism - "Some things are irrational or absurd, without explanation". When Meursault views the world he sees it as both irrational and absurd, believing that the acts of normal life does not matter, only what matters to him is the moment - the actions which he is partaking in (seen through Meursault's actions throughout his mother's death and directly afterwards, ie: swimming with Marie) are the only actions which are important to him, things such as marriage which do not follow his goals (of living in the moment) do not affect him at all nor does he care in the least about them.

The existentialist belief that life is a series of choices that produce stress is seen in the interactions that Meursault has with the other characters. Through his interaction with Raymond stress is created with the letter that Meursault chooses to write, ultimately leading to Meursault's death, which shows another pillar of the existentialist belief - that if one makes a decision he or she must follow through. The original action of Meursault, the interaction with Raymond and writing the letter, an action that created stress, is perpetuated with the Arabs who seek revenge upon Raymond...