Invisible Man

Man's Search for Purpose: The Stranger and Invisible Man 12th Grade

The search for purpose has been an infamous struggle for people throughout history. When traveling on the journey of self-enlightenment, many people face obstacles that hinder their ability to determine who they really are. People may ostensibly believe they have found their purpose, whether it be through their career, family, or otherwise. However, many wish to dig deeper in hopes of discovering their authentic purpose, without the shadows of societal expectations and common ideologies. In the novel, The Stranger by Albert Camus, the main character, Meursault, does not unearth his identity until he comes face-to-face with his own mortality. Likewise, in The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the Narrator struggles to figure out his purpose because his own sense of identity is clouded by the ideologies of others. Both stories are strikingly similar to the hardships of immigrants in America in the early 1900s; they had to figure out who they were in the midst of ostracization and confusion.

The Stranger teaches readers an important lesson: sometimes, one must embrace mortality to determine the purpose of living. This is precisely what happens to Meursault. He goes through the motions of living, rather than actually caring about how...

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