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The Stranger

A detailed description of the information from my Major Works Data Sheet.
by

Clint Hutchinson

on 18 January 2013

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Transcript of The Stranger

The Stranger was written by Albert Camus Albert Camus was born on November 7, 1913 in Drean Alergia.
He went to the University of Algiers.
He contracted tuberculosis in 1930. He married Simone Hie in 1934, but the marriage ended as consequence of infidelity on both sides.
In 1940, he married Francine Faure, with whom he had twins Catherine and Jean, on September 5, 1945.
He wrote both "The Stranger" and "The Myth of Sisyphus" in 1948.
In 1957, He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
He died on January 4, 1960 due to a car accident. In 1942: U.S. war bonds were introduced and raised to $13 billion.
Cyclone in Bengel Bangladesh killed 61,000 people.
Car makes switch from making cars to making war materials.
Singapore surrenders to the Japanese.
America authorizes the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment caps.
Much of the world is affected in some way by WWII. Many countries struggle choosing sides. Characteristics of the Genre: Existence precedes essence, which means that the most important consideration for the individual is the fact that he or she is an individual.
The individual has the idea that there is no meaning to be found in the world beyond what meaning we give it.
There is typically a negative feeling that rises from experiencing human freedom and responsibility.
Typically a breakdown in one or more qualities of one's self or identity. Summary: The Stranger is a story that tells the experiences of a man named Meursault, who believes there is no meaning to life. Because of this belief he shows no emotion, not even when receiving news that his mother has died. When he goes to attend her funeral, he is more concerned with the heat than the fact that he has lost a loved one. After the funeral, he returns to his home town in Algeria, and spends the day at the public beach. Here he runs into a former coworker name Marie. They make a date at the movie theater and Meursault stays the night with Marie. Continued.. The next day he returns to work, where he runs into his friend Emmanuel and they have lunch together. On the way home, Meursault runs into his friend Raymond Sintes, and they discuss how Raymond got into a fight with his mistress's brother because he was caught beating his mistress for cheating on Raymond with another man. The following day Marie asks Mersault if he loves her and he replies indifferently, but says that if they want to they can get married if she wants to, and they become engaged.Meursault, Raymond and Marie later decide to go to a beach house owned by Raymond's friend. And More.. At the beach they run into two Arabs, one of which is the brother of Raymond's mistress. A fight breaks out and Raymond is stabbed. After tending his wound, Raymond returns to the beach with his gun with the intentions of shooting both the Arabs. Meursault talk him out of it and takes the gun away. However, he then returns to the beach and shoots Raymond's mistress's brother for no apparent reason. He then leans over the body and shoots again four more times. Meursault is then thrown in jail and is called a monster because he shows no remorse over his crime. After a few days into the trial, the court seems to focus more on Meausault's lack of emotion towards anything rather than his crime. Because of this lack of emotion, he is found guilty and sentenced to beheading. Almost done.. As he awaits his execution, Meursault experiences and expresses emotional distress for the first time. He angrily declares that he is correct in believing in meaninglessness. He abandons all hope for the future and accepts his death. This acceptance finally makes him happy. Literary Devices Symbolism Simile Camus's descriptions throughout the story are meticulous. His writing is clear, distinct, and deliberate. His exceptional clarity and expressiveness allow the reader to have a better picture and idea of what is happening in the story. Tone The Stranger is written in a forthright, matter-of-fact and emotionless style. This could often be seen as boring but because it is told from Meursault's point of view, it allows insight into the main character. Irony Meursault's death is a result of his murder, or in other words he is killed because he killed someone else. Writing Style Meursault devotes significant attentino to the different colors of the sky. These colors are used to help symbolize the different emotions felt by Meursault throughout different moments in the story. Another example of symbolism can be seen when Meursault observes a woman with "machine-like" qualities. He tries to figure her out by studying her and he notices that she seems to move along in her own world set in her ways. She symbolizes the mechanisms that define Meursault. (Page 68) "But in order for that to happen a man must repent and in doing so become like a child whose heart is open and ready to embrace all". Camus is comparing a sinful man to an innocent child in order to convey Meursault's need to receive the grace of religion. Hyperbole (Page 59) "The light shot off the steel..spear flying up from the knife in front of me". This hyperbole helps the reader understand the severity of Meursault's condition at the moment, and tries to help the reader understand why he fired the gun at the Arabs. Themes The Meaninglessness of Life: This is the idea that human life has no redeeming meaning or purpose. The only certainty in life is death. This belief is the reason behind the actions and thoughts of Meursault.
The Importance of the Physical World: Meursault is far more interested in the physical aspects rather than the social or emotional aspects of the world around him. This focus on the world results from the novel's assertion that there exists no higher meaning or value in life.
The Irrationality of the Universe: Camus uses his work to assert his belief that individual lives and human existence in general have no meaning or order. Because people have difficulty accepting this notion, they attempt to create rational structures and meaning in their lives. This is the reason as to why society attempts to find meaning behind Meursault's actions from Camus's view. (Part 1 Chapter 5) "I said that people never change their lives, that in any case... dissatisfied with mine here at all." (Part 1 Chapter 1) "Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe... Maybe it was yesterday". (Part 1 Chapter 4) "A minute later she asked me if I loved her.. I didn't think so." Quotations: These are the opening lines of the novel, and they introduce Meursault's emotional indifference. It also introduces the theme of the meaninglessness of human life, because he cannot even remember the recent date of which is mother died. (Part 1 Chapter 1) "If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But...She was right. There was no way out." This is told to Meursault by a nurse, and it describes the human condition where man is born into a life taht can only end in death. This idea is the center of Camus's philosophy in The Stranger, which is the belief that death is the one central, inescapable fact of life. This is Meursault's response to his boss's offer of a position in Paris. Meursault declines the offer because of his belief that although certain details change, life remains essentially constant. This shows Meursault's response to Marie's question as to whether or not he loves her. His answer is direct and blunt, and it hows that due to his emotional indifference he does not understand or is incapable of love. Characters Meursualt's Mother: A woman who dies very early in the beginning of the book. Her death begins the action of the novel. She was described as nature-loving, and detached. Meursault most have developed some of his beliefs from her. Marie Cardona: Former coworker of Meursault, who after shortly dating becomes engaged to him. She is used to help show Meursault's indifferent nature in the story and how he is attracted to the physical beauty in life. She is described as young, high-spirited, and delightful. She is pretty much the opposite of Meursault. Meursault: The protagonist and narrator of the story. He is a detached figure who is branded as an outsider (hence the title "The Stranger"). He is described as detached, strange, and indifferent. Raymond Sintes: A local pimp who convinces Meursault to help him in his schemes. He is the catalyst to the novel's plot and he is described as loyal, vengeful, and brutal. The Chaplain: A priest who attends to the religious needs of the men in prison. He acts as a catalyst for Meursault's psychological and philosophical development. He is described as holy, brave. and insightful. The Examining Magistrate: Questions Meursault while he is in court. Represents society at large and is threatened by Meursault's unusual beliefs. The Arab: The brother of Raymond's mistress. His death by the hands of Meursault, ultimately causes Meursault's death. He is described as mysterious and protective. Prosecutor Prosecutor: The lawyer who wishes to convict Meursault for the murder of the Arab. He sees Meursault as a threat to society due to his moral indifference. He is described as attached, clever, and stubborn. Opening Scene: The opening scene shows Meursault's indifferent nature when he feels no remorse after receiving news that his mother died. At the funeral he is more concerned with the heat than the death of his mother. This scene helps display the theme of the importance of the physical world. Symbols: The Courtroom: used to symbolize society as a whole. The law functions as the will of the people, and the jury sits in judgement on behalf of the entire community. The court's attempt to construct a logical explanation for Meursault's crime symbolizes humanity's attempts to find rational explainations for the irrational events in the universe.
The Crucifix: Used to symbolize Christianity, which opposes Camus's absurdist beliefs. Christianity conceives a rational order of the universe rather one without any order at all.
Watching and Observation: The constant watching of people by Meursault throughout the story suggests humanity's endless search for purpose, and emphasizes the importance of details in the physical world. Closing Scene: This scene shows Meursault's final step in the development of his consciousness. Once he is suddenly forced to come face to face with death, he develops a sense of hope. This sense of hope tortures him because it creates a false illusion that he could somehow change his own fate. Once he realizes that there is no way of changing this, he embraces his future demise. He comes to recognize the "gentle indifference of the world." He decides that the world does not pass judgement, nor does it rationally control the events of human existence. He finds happiness in this realization and admits that he his finally happy. Meursault felt that with death he was finally free to have a simpler, less burdened life. Setting: Time: Slightly before World War II
Place: Algeria, On the beaches throughout Algeria THE END
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