by Albert Camus
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The obvious symbolism here is Christianity, but the crucifix is more than that in this novel. It also represents the Afterlife, society’s acceptance of it, and man’s collective search for a higher order or meaning that renders significant an otherwise absurd life. In stark contrast to the Absurdist that is Meursault (and Camus), the crucifix also represents everything that Meursault does not believe in. Rejecting it twice (once from the magistrate judge and the second time from the chaplain), Meursault detests the notion that his life must have any rational explanation or significance. Meursault defies the game society plays in a futile attempt in search of meaning – something larger and grander. He does not believe in it, and is content without it.