the_stranger by xuyuzhu


									The Stranger
   Albert Camus

  English 12

• Time Period: Modern             • Significance: The setting
• Locations: Meursault’s home       plays an important role in
  in Alger, Algeria; The old        Meursault’s environment
  folk’s home in Marengo; The       because the world around
  Beach; Jail cell.                 him affects his actions. He is
• Social context: Middle class.     very descriptive when
                                    speaking about his
• Takes place over a period of      surroundings.
  several years.
The Speaker is Meursault
The diction is very informal because the story is
  told from Meursault’s point of view. The reader is
  exposed to Meursault’s thoughts and feelings,
  and the fact that Meursault himself isn’t very well
  spoken contributes to this effect.
Camus uses Meursault to achieve his desired
  effect with Meursault’s great attention to detail
  and the significance of physical influences. Also
  Meursault’s indifference and lack of motivation.
            Repetition and Tone
• Repetition: A repeated idea      • Tone: Through Meursault’s
  in the novel is the                character, Camus is making
  significance of heat and light     a statement about the ideas
                                     of existentialism and
• Example: When he shoots            absurdism.
  the Arab the sun is burning
  and shining intensely upon       • As a result, the tone of the
  him, affecting his thoughts        novel is very passive but
  and judgment.                      also complex.
• The genre of The Stranger is realistic
  fiction and also drama.
• It is realistic fiction because although it is
  not based on true events, the situations
  could logically occur.
• It is a dramatic piece of literature because
  there are aspects of suspense and
• It was written in the 1940s.   • As a result of the fight for
• During this time WWII was        power and shifts in
  affecting Europe.                government existentialism
• In 1940, France surrendered      became a prevalent belief
  to Nazi Germany, and             during France’s troubled
  Germany occupied 3/5 of          times.
  France’s territory.            •
• Literary trends of the time
  included existentialism and
  personal freedom.
         Meursault can be compared to a dog in the fact that he
reacts mainly to physical influences and rarely to emotional
ones. He does not judge strangers in the way that most
humans would; if a stranger is kind to him, he is open to them.
But, if they pose a threat, his animal-like instincts tell him to
be cautious.
                   Albert Camus
• He was born November 7, 1913 in Mondovi, Algeria.
• He experienced a poor childhood and suffered from
• He was a member of the French Communist Party.
• In 1940 he married Francine Faure and had two children,
  Catherine and Jean.
• He didn’t like the idea of marriage, but he loved his wife. He
  had several affairs.
• He supported the philosophy of Absurdism.
• The public often associated him with the idea of existentialism,
  but he rejected the label.
• He was a pacifist; he disagreed with the idea of capital
• In 1949 he formed a Revolutionary Union Movement.
• In 1957, he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature.
• Albert Camus died January 4, 1960 in a car accident.
•   Meursault’s mother dies, he attends her funeral
•   He reunites with Marie
•   He encounters Salamano and his mangy dog
•   Meursault dines with Raymond and writes Raymond’s letter
•   Meursault and Marie witness Raymond abusing his girlfriend
•   Meursault, Marie and Raymond go to the Masson’s beach house
•   Conflict with the Arabs; Meursault kills the Arabic man
•   Meursault is arrested for murdering the Arab
•   Meursault goes to jail
•   Meursault meets with the magistrate and speak about religion
•   Meursault is tried for his crime; he is sentenced to death
•   Meursault is visited by the chaplain, and proceeds to attack him
•   In his final moments, Meursault accepts the fact that he must die and
    finally ponders his existence
                   Literary Elements
•   Characterization: Because the readers are exposed to all of Meursault’s
    thoughts, feelings and actions, his character is one of the most important
    aspects of the novel. “That evening Marie came by to see me and asked me if I
    wanted to marry her. I said it didn’t make any difference to me and that we
    could if she wanted to. Then she wanted to know if I loved her. I answered the
    same way I had the last time, that it didn’t mean anything but that I probably
    didn’t love her,” (Camus 41). This excerpt reveals the indifference that
    characterizes Meursaults entire life, in all of his endeavors.
•   Diction: The fact that the novel is written as a constant stream of
    consciousness provides a very informal diction. Because we experience only
    what Meursault experiences limits our knowledge, creating a complex and
    puzzling effect. “Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know. I got a
    telegram from the home: “Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully
    yours.” That doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday,” (Camus 3).
•   Symbolism: This novel is riddled with symbolism. An example of this
    symbolism is the nurse without a nose at the old people’s home: “…I looked
    over at the nurse and saw that she had a bandage wrapped around her head
    just below the eyes. Where her nose should have been, the bandage was flat.
    All you could see of her face was the whiteness of the bandage,” (Camus 7).
    This nurse represents the importance of emotional senses, while Meursault is
    the epitome of physical senses. In this way, the nurse is a foil to Meursault.
•   Meursault      • Significant Relationships:
•   Maman          Meursault and Marie’s relationship is puzzling to the
•   Raymond          readers, for they enjoy each other's company, but
•   Celeste          their love is questionable. Marie is in love with
                     Meursault, but Meursault doesn’t express those types
•   The Director     of feelings.
•   Caretaker      Meursault and Raymond’s relationship is somewhat
•   Marie            superficial. They are friends, but there is no deep
•   Arabs            connection or understanding between them.
•   Masson           Meursault simply conforms to what Raymond does
•   Salamano         and thinks, emphasizing Meursualt’s lack of
                   Raymond’s negative relationship with the Arabs leads to
                     the conflicts faced by Meursault. Their issues cause
                     the encounter between Meursault and the Arab at the
                     beach, as well as the subsequent murder.
   The overall theme of The Stranger
relates to the ideas of Absurdism and
Existentialism; through Meursault’s
character Camus confronts the
definition of existence and how life has
no immediate purpose.

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