The Stranger

Nonconformity: Condemnation

"Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it in hiding." ---Ralph Waldo Emerson

A society constrained to specific social standards reprimands those who do not conform to such principles. In the process, a supreme truth is revealed unveiling the 'rights' and 'wrongs' of societal ideology. Albert Camus's The Stranger exhibits Meursault as a passive nonconformist who will not "play the game" society has chosen for him, and is thus condemned for an inability to meet societys social expectations. Through irony, Camus reveals how the outcast, Meursault, is condemned because of his nonconformist beliefs.

Meursault's nonconformist character is one which does not concern itself with expressing emotion. Camus uses the first-person point of view, making the reader expect the narrator's personal response to events within the plot. Ironically, the prose is void of such content. Meursault's life is reflected upon with utmost objectivity: a reflection of how he himself sees it. He 'catalogs' the events of his life, going out of his way to avoid the conveying of any emotion. "Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know" (9)....

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