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The Stranger

The Stranger

  

by Albert Camus

 Table of Contents

The Stranger Themes

The Stranger Themes

Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd

The Stranger reflects Camus’ philosophical stance as an absurdist. Is there a logical meaning to life? Is there some higher order or law governing it? Some rational explanation to the chaos and n...

Mortality

The Stranger opens with an announcement of death; Salamano’s old dog is in a state of (super-gross) decay; the protagonist murders a guy, and is then sentenced to execution. Death is everywh...

Isolation

The Stranger's Meursault is an insanely isolated guy. He's isolated from society, from friends, from his lover, from human emotion, and eventually from normal logic.But don't start feeling sorry fo...

Sadness

At funerals, we expect sadness. At a murderer’s trial, we want to see some remorse. Have you ever asked why our expectation and desire converge? Should a son be sad at his mother’s funeral? Sho...

Man and the Natural World

These days, society doesn't the new age-y wisdom, "Seek to be one with nature." But society in The Stranger finds that wisdom kind of objectionable... and even punishable by death. Meursault is alm...

Religion

According to Absurdism, religion is constructed by man in an attempt to create meaning to a senseless existence. Acceptance of religion (and of the possibility of an afterlife) would mean that man...

Women and Femininity

The hero of The Stranger displays a detachment not only from the nebulous idea of society, but also from women. He doesn't cry at his mother’s funeral. He doesn't sympathize with Raymond’s ex-g...

Society and Class

Detachment from society is one thing, but nonconformity—or refusal to play by its rules—is another. A detached guy is deemed cold and pathetic, but a blatant nonconformist is deemed amoral. Are...

Friendship

You wouldn't think that The Stranger would be big on friendship and companionship. And it's not... really. The novel’s apathetic hero approaches what other characters think of as "...

Passivity

The Stranger (or at least Meursault) conveys the message that passivity is an acceptable way of experiencing life and treating others. For the most part, our main man is an observer—a specta...

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