`The Stranger` Thoughts and ReviewsWhen I first started reading it I was a little confused, hoping that each new page I turned would say something that would point to the actual purpose of the...

`The Stranger` Thoughts and Reviews

When I first started reading it I was a little confused, hoping that each new page I turned would say something that would point to the actual purpose of the book. I didn't think it was a bad book I just simply didn’t see any real point to it. 'Why would anyone write a book like this?' I thought to myself. 'I mean Meursault is just a completely self-centered loser, indifferent to life itself.' By the last chapter, however, when he is pondering about his imminent execution, the literacy styles describing the concepts of life and death towards an ordinary person with no real biases towards the world whatsoever, was so thought-proving and beautiful that it probably could have made Clint Eastwood cry within the movie Grand Torino. After finishing the book, however, I was still a little confused about what the point of the work was. Still even 3 days later, I was still pondering about it, replaying each chapter over in my head—which is always a definite sign of a good book. Finally, I came to possibly my first logical conclusion: Meursault's thoughts as he was waiting to be executed finally resulted in a basic theme of "well, we all gotta die sometime, so really, no big deal." Moreover, I think the author was indirectly trying to imply that "yeah, we all going to die sometime, therefore, it's not actually death—how it's how or when you die—that's important, but, what you do on this earth and in life is important." .... contined on next post

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goreadabook's profile pic

goreadabook | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

The fact that you found no point or purpose to this book IS the point Camus is trying to make.  This book was written as an attempt to explore his philosophy of Abusurdism which states that the universe is chaotic and indifferent to the needs of humanity and that there is no true meaning to life.  Depressing, I know, but let me elaborate.  Existentialists acknowledged the meaninglessness of life, but at the same time, they tried to find meaning within that very meaninglessness.  They believed that you had to construct your own meaningbecause nobody else was going to do it for you.  Camus had a problem with this hypocrisy and posed the following question:  What if we didn't try to find meaning?  What if we fully accepted the meaninglessness of life without resistance and simply lived moment to moment?  He was trying to explore this idea with Meursault's character.  I suggest you look more into Absurdism or read Camus's journals for more clarity and insight into this topic.

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georgegeorge | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

...Continuation of last post:

I believe that Meursault's final statement, "For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration", characterized that theme up perfectly. It left me with the impression that Meursault has his final opportunity to make something memorable and meaningful out of his life, even if it was only his execution.

Yeah, the "something memorable and meaningful out of his life" is having an audience revile him at his execution.  Your first impression I believe to be the most correct - that Meursault is a "loser."  Actually, he is a textbook sociopath.  And, when sociopaths commit murder, we lock them up or execute them.  So why all the sympathy/empathy out there for Meursault?  I don't quite get it.  Maybe someone can explain it to me.

obnauticus's profile pic

obnauticus | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

...Continuation of last post:

I believe that Meursault's final statement, "For all to be accomplished, for me to feel less lonely, all that remained to hope was that on the day of my execution there should be a huge crowd of spectators and that they should greet me with howls of execration", characterized that theme up perfectly. It left me with the impression that Meursault has his final opportunity to make something memorable and meaningful out of his life, even if it was only his execution.

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