Sep 18, 2018 in Book Report
Critical Explication

The argument in Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger is that “one can never change his way of life, one life is as good as another”, is incomplete as it disregards the reality of progress and improvement. Meursault is a great antagonist. He lives a detached life. He is a stranger in his world as he is isolated from people mentally, spiritually and emotionally. At the end of the novel he is isolated physically as he ends up imprisoned.

He rebuts his stand as a conservative person against change at a point in the novel where he accepts the fact that a change can occur in his life. He is willing to get married to Marie, his girlfriend, - a change he is willing to accommodate in his life. “We’ll get married whenever you like,” he declares to her. This clearly shows how he is willing to accommodate changes in his life. 

Meursault is portrayed as an indifferent individual. He shows no emotions in his life. When his mother passes on, he does not shed a single tear. His indifference is also seen during his trial. When the sentence of death by guillotine is read to him, he does not protest. However, his nature of indifference is refuted when he shows emotions of love and compassion. Albert clearly portrays him as an individual with a loving part. “However, as I didn’t want her to leave me, I suggested that we dine together at Celeste’s,” Meursault states. In the presence of Marie, his lover, Meursault becomes an emotional person refuting his well-developed character of indifference.

Albert also portrays Meursault as a secluded individual. However, his love for Marie’s company is showing otherwise. 

In conclusion, Albert’s argument that a person can completely be a stranger is refutable even in his own work, The Stranger. Meursault may seem indifferent, but also humane as he is able to feel love. He also goes ahead to defend his Arab friend, Raymond, by killing a fellow Arab. This is clear evidence that he cared for Raymond. He had the heart of friendship.


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