Sarah Whitney's Reviews > The Stranger

The Stranger by Albert Camus
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Jan 30, 11

bookshelves: fiction, own, 2011
Read from January 29 to 30, 2011

Meursault is... well, interesting.

First I thought he just might be stupid, you know, not that bright of a guy. Then I thought perhaps he had sociopathic tendencies. Hey, it happens. But, when it comes down to it, he really is just as average a guy as any, with the exception that he doesn't react to life situations and events in the same manner as most 'regular' people do. Even he is quite aware that his reactions to circumstances can be peculiar.

Meursault is really a very simple man. He very much wants people to like him... like most people. He wants to be able to explain himself to others, and for others to understand him... once again, like most people. And although he does not react to situations in the typical emotional way people typically respond, he is still very human.

I can absolutely say one thing is certain about Meursault: he acts authentically. Aside from the time with the priest in his cell, when he began to agree with the priest in an attempt to get the father to just leave him alone so he could rest (and this was after his attempt to tell him and to explain to him how he truly felt), he is usually a very authentic and honest person about what he thinks and how he feels. Or what he doesn't think and how he doesn't feel. And, just by doing so, by being true to who he is, he was destined to fail at fulfilling societal standards.

Ultimately, as a snide last remark, I think Meursault's apparent overwhelming sensitivity to heat and fatigue really did him in. I could only imagine someone reading this book and coming to that superficial conclusion! Ah, but this book is so much more. It's a quick read, but a book that keeps you thinking :)

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