Or whe his violent pimp of a neighbour wants him to compose a letter to his mistress that is meant to result in extreme nastiness towards her but backfires , he will act. It's as if inertia is his default. The only time he r Mersault, a twenty-something clerk of great intelligence but no ambition, little expressed emotion and the attitude of why bother changing or making a choice, there's nothing wrong with the status quo.
The only time he really shows emotion is when he is annoyed at the heat and glare of the sun, a major annoyance for such a commonplace event.
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It's the only time he acts of his own volition too. His crime: Mersault is on the beach where he had been invited by his friend, the pimp, and sees one of the Arabs, brother to his friend's ex-mistress. The Arab has just stabbed his friend after the pimp attacked him. Mersault stares at him, he is annoyed to see him and annoyed that the sun is so hot, as hot as it was at his mother's funeral and it annoyed him then too, upset him more than his mother's death. The Arab flashes a knife. Mersault remembers he has the pimp's gun he took to prevent violence, and he shoots him.
Then a few seconds later, he shoots the dead body four times more. He is arrested.
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Once he has adjusted to prison life, he finds that he gets pleasure from his memories and looking at the small square patch of blue sky he can see from his cell. He says that if a person had one day only of freedom, it would create enough memories to live on for the rest of their life. But freedom or imprisonment, it's all the same to him. He is sure things will go his way.
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He refuses to help his lawyer, denies the existence of god, has no belief in Jesus and shows no remorse at all. It is all the same to him. This, here and now, is all there is, he says, but although he says that, he wants more. Too late, the death knell rings and at the last moment he expresses emotion. When he is led to the guillotine he wants there to be a large and noisy crowd of people who hate him.
The same people who were bemused that a law-abiding clerk could commit such a senseless, such an absurd murder. What is the purpose of this angry crowd? Why does he want them there? How else, without religion, can he expiate his sin? Mersault is finely-drawn as one who watches but whose participation is limited to when it suits him. His lack of emotion means he is not immersed in situations, throwing his whole self into things as the very emotional people around him do.
These people, his late mother's aged fiance, the pimp, his angry boss, the girlfriend who loves him, the mistress who fights back, the Arabs full of thoughts of revenge, the religious lawyer, are full of passion. But he is the outsider. He observes much and acts little.
Except for the once. Existentialism is, it isn't a philosophical choice, and Mersault, while holding those views, doesn't do so through conviction or acceptance, but more because of his damaged personality. Perhaps that is why Camus denied this was an existentialist book. The novel begins with the words: "Mother died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know.
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Albert Camus gilded as one of the most important literary and philosophical thinkers of the post-war period. The Nobel Prize laureate of , which also focused on political questions before. The novel is an absurd work, up to the last sentence. He is also in the position in which the death-j The novel begins with the words: "Mother died today.
He is also in the position in which the death-journey of a man who has already stagnated in life, who recalls, at the moment of the expected death, that life whose level is not retarded, war for many the conscience of France. An absolute classic of world literature! May 25, Fergus rated it it was amazing. Well, and you know what? Camus was for REAL. Camus, like so many mid-century existentialists, was alienated from traditional societal roles and structures.
And for Camus, too, I think, who might just have said: That is not what I mean to say at all But though it is notoriously difficult to communicate it, Camus had found his Answer in the end: That the clear and calm Eye of the Storm is right at the centre of its fury. Once you see that, it is enough. Look at that devilish grimace on his young face, cigarette dangling rebelliously from his scowling lips, in that infamous early mug shot!
Going vaguely through the motions. Like so many of us, if we are still in the workforce. Not much giving a darn. About anything.
I too was a robot - till the day I retired. That was the day all my chickens came home to roost. I got news for that person. It wanders willy-nilly - all by itself. You can always try to connect the dots, slowly and patiently. Remember E. A huge prise de conscience. All at once, it fell into place. I was free. And alive. He has the inestimable freedom of the Eternal Present Moment of his Life It came as something quite shocking which left me dazed for days.
I don't consider myself worthy enough to review this book because I won't be doing justice to this book, at all. This book has left me in a certain distress with so many questions to ponder upon. And sometimes I think if this book can be reviewed at all. The prose of Camus is very simple and eloquent, and is a pleasure to read, but he raises some philosophical questions a layer beneath his beautifully crafted novella which leaves It came as something quite shocking which left me dazed for days.
The prose of Camus is very simple and eloquent, and is a pleasure to read, but he raises some philosophical questions a layer beneath his beautifully crafted novella which leaves you pondering deeply. Its a book that doesn't give any answers rather it raises profound questions about The Nature of Truth- through a man, with all his imperfection and innocence, who becomes an Outsider, a stranger to the world, just because he only speaketh the truth, and nothing else.
View all 24 comments. He has no emotional responses. He is, without a doubt, dead inside. He lives in the now, utterly unable to comprehend tomorrow or the past: he simply exists in the moment, experiencing all that his senses can detect. And those senses are limited to his own physical sensations.
He murders because the sun is in his eyes. She is just a body to him, a means for him to sate his own bodily needs. He cannot understand that she has emotions and that his cold behaviour will affect them.
And this makes me think he may be somewhere on the autism spectrum, an extreme pole of the autism spectrum I should say. He struggles socially and engages in a lot of preformative behaviour simply saying things because he must: it is required of him. Though in depicting such a character, Albert Camus has opened one of the biggest literary mysteries of all time: what happened to this man?
Why is he like this?
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We see his story in its endgame, but there are no mentions as to why he is so detached. Was he born this way? Is this an extreme case of a social disorder? Did someone break his heart? What ever happened to him?
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I could speculate about this all day. There are so many possible answers, and so many ways a man could become so lifeless. In a way, he reminded me of an awkward child or teen. He has no voice and no way of forming his own opinions or conversation. In a way, the book has an almost haunting like quality to it. Well, it certainly has left me feeling unnerved and puzzled as I ponder over what caused such a situation. Meursault just seemed a little bit lost to me, different to all those around him with his introverted personality.
He seemed trapped, living in a world he cannot fully comprehend or relate to. The Outsider is a very strong piece of writing; however, it is ever so subtle.
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