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  • Aug 5, 2010
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Camus has a fairly bland style of writing similar to that of Hemingway, with relatively few metaphors or simile, but an abstract feel also.  This is not surprising when considering that Camus, like Hemingway, was a journalist.  I found The Stranger to be fairly slow at first and had difficulty getting into it, but it picked up for me as I progressed further into the plot.  I had initially thought that his Maman dying was the climax and that like Kafka, Camus started with the climax.  But when the actual climax (him shooting the Arab) happened, it came as a complete surprise to me.  The reactions of the protagonist to the following events were peculiar.  He was so detached from everything.  Marie was the closest thing to him and even she was forgotten about it when in prison.  He had little reaction at his Maman’s funeral and was more intent on the sun and his own current state than mourning.  I personally didn’t see this as absurd, he had little attachment to his Maman, and she was of no more worth to him than Raymond or Celeste.  I don’t even feel any hate towards him for killing the Arab, it seems like it was just an accident.  That he was unconscious of his actions and something else was controlling the situation and made it happen.  This loss of control again shows up in the trials.  The jury, lawyers, and judges are all deciding his fate but he has no say in what is going to happen.  He feels he should be a part of the process, but his lawyer insists that it is in his best interest that he does not speak.  The jury laughs several times and that made it seem like it was some sort of entertainment, like a terribly cruel joke. 
The prosecutor in the court was ridiculous.  He brought into question Meursault’s soul, which immediately turned me away from the validity of anything he had to say.  It reminded me of The Crucible where those accused had their souls and very nature brought into question and more often than not deemed immoral and evil. 
Towards the end of the novel I came across some interesting ideas that I have been trying to decode.  The machine he continuously describes, is this society? Mankind? Justice?  Sometimes I think that this machine is evil and that it conducts justice with no consciousness or morality, which is contradictory to the idea of justice.  This machine is the laws set in place by society, and Meursault begins to question their authority, who are they to decide anything; they are no different than himself.  

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More The Stranger reviews
review by . July 06, 2010
"Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure." are the opening lines of Camus's "the Stranger" or "The Outsider". Let me ask you something, is this the way you would react if your mother died? I didn't think so.       Camus's 76 page novel is an easy read- namely, the language is simple, but thought-wise, it packs a lot. In a way, this is where Camus advertises for and against the idea "absurd" through …
review by . July 04, 2010
Meursault is a clerk in Algiers, an intentionally non-descript young man with no particularly interesting traits, characteristics, skills or habits. Now considered to be mandatory reading for those interested in notions of existential or nihilist philosophy, Albert Camus' "The Outsider" or "L'Étranger" is the story of Meursault's life. Or perhaps it might be more precise to suggest that it is the tale of Meursault's indifference to and virtually complete …
review by . July 02, 2010
I should start out by saying that this book shouldn't be read by someone who wants something to read casually before going to bed. This is a work of literature and really makes you think hard about some of the things that are a big part of all of our lives.       This is the kind of book that you will either love, or you will hate. It introduces you to a character named Meursault whose careless attitude towards everything in the world will either anger you enough …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
Really changed the way I viewed the world. Existentialism for the win!
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
A primer on existential philosophy?
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Stranger explores "absurd", existansialism and what society is really about. When Mersault, who is a complete stranger to the society, shoots an Arab, the society realizes his alien character and terminates him. "Mother died today. Maybe yesterday. I don't know" are the classic opening lines.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
An engrossing book with an unexpected twist in the MIDDLE of all places! Savage and beautiful.
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Member Since: Aug 5, 2010
Last Login: Sep 15, 2010 12:07 AM UTC
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