The Stranger Questions and Answers
by Albert Camus

The Stranger book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the setting of The Stranger by Albert Camus?

Expert Answers info

Elliot Tyson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write158 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Business, and History

Albert Camus' novel The Stranger, a masterwork of crime fiction first published in 1942, is set in Algiers, Algeria on the eve of World War II. This was a pivotal time for France, which had not only been invaded by the Nazis, but whose colonies in Islamic North Africa had weathered crippling attacks from Hitler's army.

The story focuses on an indifferent French Algerian named Meursault who murders a man, called only the Arab, for no obvious reason and subsequently struggles with societal attempts to rationalize his behavior. As such, the setting of Nazi-ravaged French territory is critical in setting up a backdrop of both doom and lunacy.

A strident anti-bourgeois message, characterized by the setting, runs through the novel and is used to illustrate Meursault's emotions, attitudes, and motivations. In particular, there are numerous examples of the discriminatory attitude the French have toward their Arab neighbors, as embodied in the protagonist . Meursault's killing of the Arab in this...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 819 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,677 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write7,045 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial