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The Stranger by Albert Camus

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Jackie Samara

on 20 April 2015

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Transcript of The Stranger by Albert Camus

Thank You!
Takes place in Algiers, the capital of the North African country Algeria
In 1942 (when the story was published) Algeria had been possessed by France for almost 100 years
Arabs & Europeans lived side by side amidst racial tension
Only the main character and his French friends are given names.
Climate is characterized by heat, sun, and beaches
The story of an "ordinary man" who is drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach. The novel explores the public's reaction to Meursault (main character) as he is brought to task for his crime.
About the Author
Attended University of Algiers
Had a number of dull routine jobs such as processing auto registrations which infuenced parts of The Stranger
WWII broke and Camus joined an anti-Nazi group in Paris and became editor of their newspaper Combat
During this time, he wrote
The Stranger
and "The Myth of Sisyphus"
Famous for his Existentialist views

Based on the writings of Søren Kierkegaard
Deals with the problem of finding meaning in existence: why do I exist????
Existentialism states there is NO PREDETERMINED MEANING for why you are personally here. You define it for yourself, despite what religion tells you.
The belief that people are searching to find out who and what they are throughout life as they make choices based on their experiences, beliefs, and outlook without the help of laws, ethnic rules, or traditions.
The idea of a meaning to your life being created for you is considered "absurd."
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Born in Monrovia, Algeria 11/7/1913
His father died fighting for France in WWI
Never really knew his father
During high school, he contracted TB and barely survived
Both experiences gave him a new perspective on death and awareness of his own existence
Absurdism Cheat Sheet
= if an individual eludes (avoids) the fact that life is absurd, then life is meaningless
= religion may or may not contribute to life's meaning
Personal Meaning
= Life's beauty makes it worth living
- the closest one can come to being free is through acceptance of the absurd
- by not having hope, one is motivated to live every moment to the fullest
- life is not about morality (right and wrong), but integrity (honesty with oneself)
What does Existentialism mean?
Positives of Existentialism:

1- When you are not defined, you are limitless.
2- Capable of making major changes
3- Not acceptable to just "be"
4- One has to be "something" or life truly lacks meaning or purpose
5- Find yourself through free will, choice, and personal responsibility

Branch of Existentialism: Absurdism
A philosophy based on the belief that the universe is IRRATIONAL AND MEANINGLESS. Any search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe.
Existentialism believes:
1- Emphasizes individual uniqueness in a hostile or indifferent environment
2- You have the ability to choose (free will) therefore you are responsible for the consequences of your own actions
3- Humanity is not given essence or meaning, just existence
4- There are no set standards of morality or truth
5- Everything is random and disconnected; your mind wants reason or logic BUT THERE IS NONE
6- Only you can guide yourself to become who you want to be
7- When you forge your own liberty and happiness, then you are free

Full transcript