The Stranger Significant Allusions
by Albert Camus

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Significant Allusions

Allusion to Popular Culture: Camus refers to popular culture of the era in order to underscore the distinction between Meursault’s response to his mother’s death (indifference) and the cultural norm (grief). 

  • The day after his mother’s funeral, Meursault and Marie go and see a “Fernandel movie.” Fernandel was a comedic French actor and sometimes director famous during the 1940s. During the trial scene, the onlookers are shocked that Meursault would see such a comedy so soon after his mother’s death. 

Allusions to Religious Thought: Throughout the text, Meursault’s actions and opinions exist in conflict with the Christian morality that governs the culture around him. 

  • As the lawyers prepare for trial, Meursault has frequent meetings with the magistrate. The magistrate says goodbye by saying, “That’s all for today, Monsieur Antichrist.” Antichrist is a biblical term referring to any individual who denies the teachings of God or Jesus Christ. Though the controversial character appears in both monstrous and human form, there is general consensus that the figure is paramount in bringing about the apocalypse. 
  • The Antichrist is an 1888 philosophical text by Friedrich Nietzsche. In it, he criticizes Christian individuals and asserts that Christianity is a religion for the weak and unhealthy. He also claims that Christian culture replaced nobler cultures from the past. In his private letters, Nietzsche referred to himself as the antichrist.

Allusions to Greek Mythology: At emotional high points, the novella makes reference to Greek mythology in order to reinforce themes in the text. 

  • Blindness/Sight: The Stranger contains frequent descriptions of light, darkness, and Meursault’s vision. Before commiting murder, he describes the light...

(The entire section is 416 words.)