The Stranger By Albert Camus Critical Essay

If there is no change in a character, no growth or progress, there is no satisfaction at the end of a story.Mersault, from reads like a novel, or more like someone’s personal diary.I washed my hands and then I went out onto the balcony” (21), one wonders if the author is outlining this basic material to get to the good stuff about to take place, or whether these mundane details are the story in itself.

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In any case, one life is as good as the other” (41) Perhaps it is why, when his girlfriend asks if she wants him to marry her, he said that “It didn’t make any difference and we could if she wanted to” (41) It is almost as though he has forced himself to close off his mind and heart, his soul even, from anything that might seek to touch it, warm it, or bring it to life.

The act of murder, and the whole blazing afternoon, is a masterful rendering written in a manner true to this narrative character.

As a result of that moment, perhaps he convinced himself nothing mattered.

Perhaps that is why he puts forth the idea that, “People never change their lives.

As the story progresses, the narrative character, Meursault, portrays no backbone, no sense of moral values, and no perspective on much of anything. Readers are not necessarily looking for Prince Charming or Superman, but simply someone relatable and likeable – someone with whom they can connect.

Author Nancy Lamb explains one reason that readers want to read about realistic characters when she states, “Almost nothing yanks readers out of a story faster than when they feel a character’s actions are inauthentic.All the character speaks of is what happened that day, nothing too interesting; nothing that has much bearing on the rest of the story.While reading, “After lunch I was a little bored and I wandered around the apartment. If there was no character, there would be no story. Reading is for all these reasons at some time or another, but more than that, . Is it to invoke imagination, or to experience life through another’s eyes?As members of humankind, we crave connection with others – and connection with a character – hoping to discover that we are not alone in the way we think or relate to others or see the world; believing that if a faulty character can develop and transform throughout the chapters, maybe we can too.Looking at the facts of Meursault’s character thus far, questions arise as to the motive of the shooting. Was it his inability to grieve for his mother, which was then projected into anger?Was it the fact that he didn’t care about anything at all – or did he simply want to prove that he didn’t care?Finally, three pages from the end, his detached façade cracks, and raging emotions pours out as Meursault narrates, “I started yelling at the top of my lungs, and I insulted him and told him not to waste his prayers on me. I was pouring out on him everything that was in my heart, cries of anger and cries of joy” (120).But at the end of the emotional outburst, the narrative character remains unchanged, bloody but unbowed.


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