Sharon Barrow Wilfong's Reviews > The Stranger

The Stranger by Albert Camus
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it was amazing

** spoiler alert ** Camus writes in a simple, yet mesmerizing style as he gives the first person thoughts of a socio-path. The narrator, a French Algerian, Meursault, tells us in an emotionless voice that his maman has died. He goes to the funeral because he has to. He feels nothing. He smokes and drinks coffee by the coffin.

The next day, he meets up with a girl, Marie and begins an affair with her. A man in his apartment has a dog that he abuses. He observes the man's treatment of the dog but does not care, because he does not think it matters.

Another apartment dweller, Raymond asks him to write a letter to Raymond's girlfriend to entice her back to his apartment so he can abuse her. Meursault does so. Raymond abuses the girl so badly that the police come. Meursault watches all of this without emotion.

The girlfriend's brother and his friends, who are Arabs, begin following Raymond and Meursault as they go to the beach with Marie.

On the beach Raymond and Meursault confront the Arabs. Raymond gives Meursault his gun and, without provocation, Meursault shoots and kills one of the Arabs. He is arrested and goes to jail.

His lawyer tries to get him to show remorse, all Meursault feels is annoyance. All he cares about is his physical needs, hunger, sex, etc..Staying alive is the only thing that has meaning for him. He does not understand why the lawyer is upset because he does not care that his mother died or that he killed a man. He does not know why he killed the man, he just did. That's all there is to it.

Meursault is condemned to die. He refuses to see the Chaplain, but the Chaplain comes anyway and tries to speak to him of God and the afterlife. Meursault is bored.

As his life finally comes to its conclusion (he is sentenced to having his head cut off in a public square), he thinks about small things: the sun setting, the shadows gathering in his room. He simply cannot seem to care about anything that actually matters.

I have not studied any commentaries on this book but it seems that Camus experienced some kind of emotional fatigue or bankruptcy after the World Wars and arrived at the conclusion that nothing matters and life has no meaning.

This book, I think, encapsulates life without God. There is nothing left.
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Reading Progress

November 6, 2018 – Started Reading
November 9, 2018 – Shelved
November 9, 2018 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by reem (new)

reem Brilliant review!


Sharon Barrow Wilfong reem wrote: "Brilliant review!"

Thank you, Reem.


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