Essay “The Stranger,” the main character, Meursault,

Essay title: The Stranger

In the book "The Stranger," the main character, Meursault, is a stranger to himself, and to life.

Meursault is a person who is emotionally and physically detached from the world. He seemingly cares only about himself, but at the same time could be concerned little about what happens to him. The title, "the Stranger," could indicate Meursault's disconnection and indifference to the world that surrounds him and, therefore, his role as a stranger in the book. The title could also imply that he is simply a stranger to experiencing emotion and expressing feeling: that he is detached from himself and doesn't know what it means to be a human. Meursault show that is far more interested in the physical aspects of the world around him, than the social or emotional aspects of life. Throughout "The Stranger," Meursault's attention is centered on his physical relationship with Marie and physical elements of his surroundings.

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Existentialism is a belief that is centered on man's freedom of choice and his responsibility for the consequences of his actions. It is the view that we create moral and ethical values though the choices that we make, that nothing is right or wrong until we make a choice, and the refusal to choose is a choice. Existentialism holds that there is no intrinsic meaning or purpose: therefore, it is up to each individual person to determine his own meaning and purpose, and to take responsibility for his actions.According to Soren Kierlegaard, a nineteenth century Danish philosopher, an individual's response to a situation must be to live a totally committed life and this commitment can only be understood by the person who has made it. That person must always be able to defy the norms of society for the sake of the higher authority of a valid way of life.

In comparison to Existentialism, Meursault, in "the Stranger," exhibits these characteristics that are unique to his life experiences.Detachment From EmotionsMeursault responds to situations in a way that is not normal in out society. He doesn’t distinguish right from wrong. Meursault clearly doesn’t judge one’s behavior to be good or bad. For instance, if there were a man abusing his dog, one would try and stop the man from abusing the dog. When Meursault encounters a similar situation, he sees this action, not as right or wrong, or good or bad, but as a man abusing a dog. During the funeral procession, the heat of the sun causes Meursault far more pain than the thought of burying his mother.

The sun on the beach torments Meursault, and during his trail he identifies his suffering under the sun as the reason he killed the Arab.Meursault is the only one who can understand his response to the situations described about and sees it as valid based on his commitment to live life as he sees it.In “The Stranger,” as in Existentialism, Meursault’s values are created by his own will rather than any innate human transcendental purpose. Existentialism is a belief that is centered on man’s freedom of choice and his responsibility for the consequences of his actions. But Meursault is a stranger to himself and his surroundings.

He is detached from the world and does not make choices because of his refusal to do so, rather, he is unable to do so because he is detachment from the world. IndifferenceMeursault’s description of other people is entirely subjective. (Do I know the Objective) He does not attempt to portray them in neutral form or in a manor to understand their thoughts and feelings. Meursault is detached from the world and everything around him. Events that would be very significant for most people, such as a marriage proposal or a parent’s death, do not matter to Meursault, at least at a sentimental level. He does not care that Marie loves him.

He does not car that his mother is deceased, which can be seen from an effort less means of not hiding lack of feeling over her death. Without displaying his indifference of judgment, Meursault constantly challenges society acceptance, which states that one should grieve over “ones” death. Also, because Meursault does not grieve, society defines him as an outsider, a threat, even as a monster..

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