Is Meursault an antihero in the novel The Stranger by Albert Camus?

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Name VonRueden eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Meursault can be viewed as an antihero, but with the proviso that there are certain striking differences between his behavior and that of other well-remembered antiheroes in literature.

Usually an antihero is a character who commits misdeeds or crimes but still has some claim on our sympathy and admiration. His acts can often be rationalized by the fact that the enemies against whom the antihero acts are even worse people than him and that they are the ones who deserve justice or punishment more than he does. In some cases even this rationalization is lacking. In Macbeth, for example, Macbeth is an antihero not because the ones he kills are evil but because he kills regretfully, with the knowledge that his acts are wrong and that even if his motive is lust for power, those acts are in some sense imposed upon him from the outside. He becomes driven on by prophecies, Lady Macbeth's prodding, and the fact that once he has become "stepped in blood" so far, it is impossible for him to turn...

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