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

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Albert Camus's 1942 novel, The Stranger (L'Etranger), bears multiple readings. A feminist reading would most likely have some serious issues with the novel. He has a casual affair with a former coworker, Marie, and she is less a character than a sex object. The main action is motivated because a neighbor wants to take revenge on his girlfriend. The women characters have no depth and no agency. It's a very male novel.

As an intellectual, Camus surely would've been familiar with Marx, but I'm not sure The Stranger makes for a very interesting Marxist text. Camus's protagonist, Meursault, is a typically bourgeois character, and there is certainly something to be made of the gap between the French colonists in Algiers and the native Algerians. A Marxist critique would no doubt focus on the class conflict. They love that stuff.

A Freudian reading would focus on his relationship with his mother. The most interesting lens to use would be the existentialist one, although Camus preferred the term

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1043 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 16, 2020
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