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The Stranger Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Philosophical Viewpoints: The Absurd
The Stranger reflects Camus’s 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...
The Stranger opens with an announcement of death; Salamano’s old dog is in a state of decay; the protagonist murders, and is then sentenced to execution. The centrality of death, as a concept...
The Stranger focuses on one man’s isolation from society, from friends, from his lover, from human emotion, and eventually from normal logic. This isolation is self-prescribed; the main chara...
At funerals, we expect sadness. At a murderer’s trial, we desire to witness remorse. Have you ever asked why our expectation and desire converge? Should the son be sad at his mother’s f...
Man and the Natural World
These days, society hardly challenges the new age-y wisdom, "Seek to be one with nature." Society in The Stranger finds one manifestation of that wisdom objectionable, and even punishable by death....
According to the absurdist, religion is constructed by man in an attempt to create meaning to a senseless existence. Acceptance of religion, of the possibility of an afterlife, would mean that man...
Women and Femininity
The hero of The Stranger displays a detachment not only from society, but also from women. He does not cry at his mother’s funeral. He does not sympathize with Raymond’s ex-girlfriend w...
Society and Class
Detachment from society is one thing, but nonconformity to – or refusal to play by – its rules is another. The detached is deemed cold and pathetic, but the blatant nonconformist is dee...
The Stranger explores the differences between friendship and companionship. The novel’s apathetic hero seems to draw no distinction between them, or rather, approaches what other characters t...
The Stranger seems to convey the message that passivity is an acceptable way of experiencing life and treating others. For the most part, the narrator/protagonist is an observer – a spectator...
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