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Albert Camus and Existentialism

Albert Camus and Existentialism

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Published by Nina Tratnik

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Published by: Nina Tratnik on Oct 31, 2012
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06/13/2014

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Albert camus and existentialismExistentialism is the individual freedom of choice; in other words man is aconscious subject, rather than a thing. Of the many existentialistic themes,Camus strongly believed in absurdity.Camus’ opinion is that absurdity lies in the basic discord in the relationship between the human being and the universe. Thus, the human being discovers theabsurdity of existence when he correctly perceives the universe.The absurdity of the human being is in its insecurity, rejections, agony, and alsoit’s disappointments. In most of Camus’ works the recognition of the absurdityof the human existence is a main theme. For Camus, the absurd is not a negativething, but a real state of existence. Accepting the perspective that life is absurd isto embrace a true view of life.The Stranger, is the first work of Camus’ dealing with absurdity. It portrays themain character as an honest, atheist, who lives life as best as he knows how. Inthe beginning of the novel, the main character Mersault’s mother dies. Hismother’s death has no effect on him because he feels death is the end, there is noGod in his mind, and because the two were not close.
 
At the funeral people view him as strange for not crying, not wishing to have anopen casket, and sleeping. They believe he is void of any feelings for his ownmother. While he really just wasn’t that close with her, the people later show upto testify against Mersault saying exactly what they saw at the funeral.A day later Mersault runs into a woman he used to work with by the name of Marie. Marie and Mersault go on a date and spend the night together. Theycontinue to do so throughout the novel.When she asked him if he wishes to marry her he agrees, only because he seesno real reason to refuse. When she asks if another women were to ask him thesame thing he replies “ I would have no real reason not too”. Confused by thisMarie just accepts it.Similar with his answer to Marie’s question, Mersault helps a neighbor Ray witha letter to trap Ray’s Arab girlfriend into going to Ray’s apartment. Ray goes to bed with her then proceeds to spit on her and beat her. The cops show up andMersault defends Ray, again stating he had no real reason not to.For fear of the girl’s brother, Ray asks Mersault if he would like to go to hisfriend’s house with Marie. At the house the brother shows up and Ray fights

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