Albert Camus “The Stranger” book review by Karolina Orlovska

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The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your existence is an act of rebellion.’’

Albert Camus

“The Stranger” is one of the books, where existential problems of a person are touched. The novel was published in 1942 and written by a French philosopher, author, and journalist Albert Camus. In all his works we clearly can see the theme of absurd and the individual facing it.

The novel begins with the situation when the mother of the main character dies. This doesn’t affect him at all: he doesn’t even cry. I’ve got the feeling that he feels bored at the funeral and it seems strange to me, same as it could be to other readers. This lack of emotions creates “the wall” between Meursault and society. We could compare it with the game – if someone doesn’t play by the rules – he falls out. The same happens with the society, because rules are norms or standards by which society lives and in this situation, Meursault is not playing according to the rules. That is why the author gives the name to the this novel “The stranger” or other translators may translate it as “The outsider”. When topic switches to love – it is also the same story. Meursault doesn’t show emotions – he enjoys the physical contact with Marie who works at the same place as he. She, on the other hand, represent his life – free and without any obligations.

The second part of the book is about Meursault being in prison. This is because his neighbor, Raymond,involves him in a conflict with his wife and the Arab, he also gives Meursault the gun, which results in Arab getting killed by Meursault. This was like a favor for Raymond and he acted as though Meursault was his friend. From my point of view – the biggest absurd is that on the trial he as though is judged not for the murder, but for unwillingness at his mother’s funeral. The prosecutor at the trial sees him as a monster who deserves to be killed.

At the end I would like to say, that not always we must play by the rules, sometimes life send us challenges that we must complete acting against the rules. Life is changing, so do we. There are a lot of “Strangers” in our society nowadays. And as Meursault mentioned while speaking with chaplain, that nobody has the right to judge him for his actions or for who he is, and no one has the right to judge someone else. 💡

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