Review The Stranger by Albert Camus

Content Summary

In this content, after talking about Albert Camus‘ life and presenting a summary of one of his most influential works, The Stranger, we will make a general review of his novella.

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The latest novella ı have read is Albert Camus’ The Stranger. The book is an interesting one in terms of both the characters and the subjects it has covered. Also the general philosophic thoughts that Albert Camus has an life maket he novella charming. Hence, the novella is not only a literary artwork but also o philosophical work. Let’s talk about Albert Camus first.

Who is Albert Camus?

Albert Camus is a writer who has experienced all the great misfortunes of the last century. Born into World War I, II. A person who lived his youth in World War II, left the world at the age of 46 in 1960, before the world was normalized yet.

A charismatic photograph of Albert Camus

A charismatic photograph of Albert Camus

Although Algerian-born Albert Camus is described as an existentialist or absurdist, he does not actually take part in either of these philosophical movements, and stands apart from his contemporaries. Albert Camus is not as hopeful as the existentialists, and not as nihilistic as the nihilists. He thinks the world is absurd, but does not find it as meaningless as other absurdists.

As described in the Sisyphus Discourse, which he founded using Greek mythology, Sisyphus rolls a rock up a mountain, but just as the rock reaches the top, it falls down. Sisyphus descends again and begins to roll the rock up the hill. It goes on like this forever. Sisyphus will never be able to get the rock to the top. Absurdists liken man to Sisyphus because he is death, stating that human effort is meaningless. However, Albert Camus sees the man’s striving to get the rock up, even if the end is the rock rolling down again, as a rebellion, and defines this rebellion as an action sufficient to fill one’s heart.

Albert Camus front of the book shelves.

Albert Camus front of the book shelves.

I normally think that art does not have any function, it is done for aesthetic purposes only. But it is possible to see that Albert Camus and the Stranger constitute a method for the survival of humanity, even if it is not written for social purposes in order to reconstruct the destroyed self of humanity during World War II, even if it is as individual as it is.

The Books of Albert Camus

This Nobel Prize-winning author has many works in genres such as stories, essays, letters and plays, but he gained his fame with his novels, including The Stranger. His famous novels, some of which were translated into our language and some of which were published after his death, are as follows:

  • The Stranger
  • The Plague
  • The Fall
  • Happy Death
  • The First Man

Summary of The Stranger

The Stranger consists of two sections. First section of the Stranger while the second section begins with meursault’s mama’s death and general settings of the Stranger while the second section begins with his getting arrested

First Chapter

Un the first chapter of the Stranger, Meursault’s mama passes away. And everything starts with her death in a way. Because Meursault couldn’t afford expenses of her mama’s care, he had sent her to a nursing home. At the same time he didn’t have much to talk his mama. In the Stranger one can find out it was fort he sake of her mama. After the day of her mama’s death, Meursault meets Marie who is typist in same workplace as Meursault. After meeting at the public pool, they go to cinema and have sex at his home. On later days, Meursault meets Raymond who stays at the same apartment building. They have a good friendship and one day Raymond offers Meursault to g oto one of his friends (Masson) beach house. Meursault rejects to go at first because he has a date with Marie on that day. But Raymond invites Marie, too and insists on coming to beach house. Finally, Meursault accepts the offer and they goto beach house. Meursault swims with Marie who wants to get maried to him. On a day Marie asks Meursault whether he loves her or not. Meursault says that he’s not sure, but he wants to get married. Marrie finds it too odd just like his natural behaviours.

One of the covers of The Stanger that has changed over the years.

One of the covers of The Stanger that has changed over the years.

After swimming, Masson, Meursault and Raymond take a walk the beach. While walking around, they see Raymond’s mistress, who had been beaten by Raymond, and her brother and other Arabs. Later on, they fight on the beach and Raymond’s mistress’ brother cuts Raymonds face and hand. They got to a doctor who stays at the beach house at the weekends. While the doctor giving the treatment to Ray, Meursault goes for a walk on the beach again. When Meursault comes to a cave, he sees the Arab. There are 10 meters between them and but at that time feels extremely different. It’s like that the sun is pushing him from his back with the shining sand. Meursault has a severe headache and feels just like on the day just his mama burried. After feeling the sun as unbearable, he steps and at the same time the Arab grabs his knife and shows to Meursault.

Meursault feels the knife as a sword shinning on the sun. And sweat on his forehand drops on his eyes. Thus he bocemes, feels as a blind in a way. Than, Meursault grabs the gun that Raymond has given to him after fighting and fires it one time. After the first shoot he fires four times again.

Second Chapter

The second chapter of the novella is mostly about the events after the crime. Meursault gets taken to the prison imediately after the crime. A lawyer is apoointed to his case. Acording to the lawyer, Meursault will get punished with the prison rather than guillotine. Meursault  gets used to living in a cell, not having sec with Marie. Until his day in the court, he looks outside from his window and lists the items in his old apartment. On his case, some of his friends Masson, Ray, Marie witness on his benefit but prosecutor does the contrary. And with the other witness statements Meursault has difficulty in getting out of prison. He is sentenced to guillotine. While being judged by prosecutor, he is mostly blamed for not weeping on his mama’s funeral and his emotionlessness. On his new cell, he feels strange and looks for some ways to escape from there. But it’s impossible. He always refuses chaplain who cames to this cell. But on a day chaplain comes to his cell and he tries to talk to Meursault.

Meursault says that he doesn’t believe in god and even interested in the subject. Chaplain insists on talking about the subject and states that his will might help him escape from the prison but it will not help in relation with God. Meursault gets really angry and attacks chaplains worldview and thougts. Meursault states that even in that situation he is gonna face death, he has more confidence in his worldview an upcoming events that chaplain passes. He thinks that death s inevitable and might be seen at anytime anywhere. So, because we are all condemned to death, nothing really matters at all.

After chaplain leaves, Meaursault feels good and thinks about now and parallels that his mama must have felt while dying the retirement house. At the same time he feels really relaxed after the dialogue which he yeld to chaplain. At the las scene he feels happy and his final claim is that large and crowd execution will end his loneliness and bring everything to a consummate end.

The Topic of The Stranger

According to The Stranger, “Man’s life is in his own hands, but he is also open to dangers.” Yes, life is meaningless, but just as Sisyphus struggles over and over again to get the rock up each time, one must finally realize the seriousness of being, which is the only meaning of life, to live consistently in this meaninglessness in a life where there is death.

The Stranger important for World War II. The human being felt during and after World War II Albert Camus offered a way of life to people in despair and meaninglessness.

Notes About The Stranger

– The novela takes place in Algeria, where Albert Camus was born in.

– Albert Camus was a philosopher, author and journalist.

– Albert Camus got the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957. The Fall had a huge importance on getting the price.

– His thoughts contributed to rise of absurdism. He is also known as a existentialist.

– His novella “The Stranger” was adopted as film twice “Lo Stoniero” (İtalian) and Yazgı (2001 fate) Turksih.

References

https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/1245256

https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/1162146

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fall_(Camus_novel)

  • Story
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4.8

Brielfy My Opinion

Man’s life is his own. But it is also open to dangers. The only thing that makes sense in this meaningless world is to exist. A classic.

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