Provide examples and evidence of Marxism, existentialism, feminism, and Freudian psychoanalysis in The Stranger.

Expert Answers info

jxcampbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write103 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

The Stranger is a novel that follows a man named Meursault, a Frenchman living in Algeria, through his daily routine. The story begins with Meursault confronting the recent death of his mother. He says, "My mother died today, or maybe it was yesterday," revealing his detachment from details, emotions, and possibly relationships. He moves through life, enjoying its daily and novel pleasures, without reflecting much on himself, his circumstances, or even his decision-making process. He lives in a seaside town in Algeria, has a job and an apartment and early in the book, begins an affair.

Despite Meursault's lack of attachment or daily routine, he is a fully formed character. He enjoys his meals, lives independently, and begins a romance. At this point in the story, neither existentialism, nor Freudian psychology, nor Marxism, nor feminism have entered the picture, but when he begins his affair that changes.

Feminism is represented in The Stranger through the character of Marie. Although she is his lover, Meursault is detached from her emotionally. She satisfied his physical needs, but he is passive. He does not view her as a person, but a vehicle to serve his sexual needs, which aren't far removed from his need for food and drink. This portrait serves as a foil to feminism, but it could be argued that Meursault's underlying misanthropy reveals a dislike of not only women, but humankind.

Marxism, the doctrine that workers are exploited by a system that ensures workers will be...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 784 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mstultz72 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,817 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial