The Stranger: Meursault Analysis

  • Words 695
  • Pages 2
Download PDF

The Stranger by Albert Camus is a novel about Meursault, a character who’s different and even threatening views on life take him to pay the highest price a person can pay: his life. The novel embodies philosophies of existentialism and absurdism. Existentialist and absurdist philosophies entail principles regarding that one’s identity is not based on nature or culture, but rather by sole existence. Towards the end of the novel, Meursault triumphs. Although he is executed for his actions, his true triumphant lies with the fact that he was able, although not fully, to live his life with his beliefs without the influence of others. Meursault reveals that there is a defect in society with his death.

Every society is not perfect. There is a type of imperfection built-in in every society. Meursault was able to unveil the imperfection in his society with the price of his life. In The Stranger, Meursault states, “I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself— So like a brother really— I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for me to feel less alone, I had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of my execution and that they greet me with cries of hate” (Camus 122-123). This describes his true victory in society. Not only was he able to stick to his belief despite society’s disapproval, but he also showed that what good is society if the society in question isn’t letting a man or woman believe in their own beliefs. He showed that anything different from what society believes will lead to your death.

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

Sometimes being different is a good thing. Throughout the court trial, Meursault was questioned about his indifference towards his mother’s death. He was judged harshly by the people around him, he didn’t conform to society’s way of thinking. Even though Meursault may be different, there was not that much of a difference from him and society. In The Stranger, Meursault states, “I probably did love Maman, but that didn’t mean anything. At one time or another, all normal people have wished their loved ones were dead. Here the lawyer interrupted me and he seemed very upset” (Camus 65). This shows that Meursault may have a different way of thinking from society but that does not set him apart from the “normal people” of society. Meursault may be judged for the way he reacts to a certain situation and the way he thinks but that does not make him different from “normal people” because they are similar in one way or another.

Stand up for what you believe in even though you are standing alone. Meursault lived his life without the influence of others affecting his reasoning of existence. He stood his ground till the day of his death. In The Stranger, Meursault states, “He said it was impossible; all men believed in God, even those who turn their backs on him. That was his belief, and if he were ever to doubt it, his life would become meaningless……. As far as I could see, it didn’t have anything to do with me, and I told him so” (Camus 69). This emphasizes how Meursault does not follow society’s ideals as to who determines their fate. This is a triumph for him because he is not compelled to follow what he does not believe in. He does not give society a satisfactory victory because he does not conform to societal norms. Meursault simply goes through his day doing whatever happens and does not do anything about it to change what is happening in his life.

Despite his execution at the end of the book, Meursault triumphed. He was able to live his life without conforming to society’s thinking. He stood his ground to what he believed in and paid the highest price man can pay: his life. Not only does his death emphasizes his belief, but it also exposed the flaws in his society. Even though the people of Meursault’s society might think they won the battle, but it was Meursault who have won the war. 


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.