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Character Role Analysis

Jean-Baptiste Clamence

Jean-Baptiste is a peculiar kind of protagonist. He obviously fits this role, being not only the main but only character in his own confession. He’s not exactly the hero type, though. In fact, many would say he’s an anti-hero. He embodies negative qualities rather than positive ones. He’s cowardly, self-serving, and egotistical. Now check out the epigraph, which quotes Mikhail Lermontov commenting on his own anti-hero (named Pechorin). Camus seems to view his character, Jean-Baptiste, the same way Lermontov viewed Pechorin: a seemingly horrible man with whom we have more in common than we’d care to admit. So while Jean-Baptiste is decidedly not your typical hero, hey – neither are you.