The Stranger

The Absurd and the Concept of Hope in Camus's Novels 12th Grade

When one questions the existence of God, one often reverts to a specific, troubling question: “if God exists, why are there moral tragedies that cause such great suffering?” In other words, humans find it very difficult when there is an event or scenario that does not fit their framing of thought. Similar types of thinking have plagued humans for centuries; whether morality exists or not is still a topic of debate. These seemingly unanswerable questions can only verify one aspect of the universe: the Absurd governs it. This concept that human reason could not possibly explain the universe and its workings is explained in The Stranger and The Plague by Albert Camus. However, this conception leads many to believe that there is absolutely no value in the world; however, this is not the message Camus wants to communicate. In The Stranger and The Plague, the conclusion is not one of nihilism, but of hope, as explained through “Existentialist Fiction” and “Nonviolence in a Plague-striken World.”

To fully understand how Absurdism functions within Camus’s novels, we must first understand what the Absurd entails. The Absurd states that the human need for objective understanding of the world is incoherent because thought reduces the...

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