The Stranger

Clothing and Social Constructs in The Stranger 12th Grade

In some novels, even the most minuscule ordinary objects are subjects of great importance and symbolism; after all, symbolism which adds meaning to the text that cannot be overlooked. In the work The Stranger by Albert Camus, outerwear holds a great importance throughout the text and expresses social predicaments, particularly the main character Meursault’s rejection of social constructs. Clothing is usually a constant within society and represents normalcy, as it is uniform. While clothing can be found in many shapes, colors, and sizes, the social expectations that come with wearing this clothing do not falter. However, Meursault is unable to conform to understanding the significance of particular clothing in specific situations due to his rejection of social constructs, and this mindset would not let him follow an authentic, spiritually fulfilled life.

One character Meursault spends a significant amount of time with throughout the first half of The Stranger is Marie, his love interest. However, it becomes clear that this relationship with Marie is nothing but a shallow, lust filled affair from the perspective of Meursault. This shallow, lust-filled attraction Meursault develops for Marie is particularly shown through...

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