The Stranger

The Strangest Stranger 11th Grade

When Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger, was first published in 1942, many readers did not know what to think of Meursault, the emotionally disconnected protagonist of Camus’ story. His absurdist views confused the masses that yearned for meanings behind actions. However, it was not only readers who did not understand Meursault. Fellow characters in Camus’ novel, as well, failed to comprehend the character’s philosophy. Ultimately, Camus’ title The Stranger is a fitting characterization of Meursault who is separated by a “glass partition” from friends, society, and even himself.

Throughout the novel, it becomes apparent that Meursault is not truly understood by anyone- not even his closest friends. For example, Meursault’s neighbor, Salamano, in an uncalled for attempt to comfort his friend, declares that Meursault, “must be very sad since Maman died … he knew [Meursault] loved her very much” (45). To the reader, the notion that Meursault had any affection for his mother is an absurd thought as he has not shown any signs of sadness since his mother’s death let alone any emotion. In fact, Meursault does not even know his own mother’s age, replying to his boss’ inquiries that she was “about sixty” (25). Depicted as cold and...

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