What is the setting of The Stranger by Albert Camus?

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The setting of The Stranger is Algeria under French colonial rule in the 1940s. Though Camus is putting forward an existentialist theme that has universal and timeless implications, the specific setting nevertheless has a bearing upon the message of the novel.

French Algerians such as Camus tended to feel alienated from the place that was, in fact, their homeland, north Africa. For those with progressive views, there was the haunting sense of guilt, the fact that their country, France, had taken over someone else's land and that people such as themselves, of French extraction, didn't belong there. And yet, Algeria was their home. The situation was similar to that of British colonials during the same period, as George Orwell described in his famous works such as Burmese Days and "Shooting an Elephant."

The tension between those of European extraction in Algeria, who were referred to as les pieds noirs, and the indigenous North African population is an essential part of the background of Camus'...

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