The Stranger by Albert Camus: The Randomness of Life | Teen Ink

The Stranger by Albert Camus: The Randomness of Life

August 22, 2021
By Hi-I-am-Jason GOLD, Brookline, Massachusetts
Hi-I-am-Jason GOLD, Brookline, Massachusetts
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

"The Stranger" is a book written by Albert Camus that relays his philosophical thoughts to the world. The story contains many events in the chaotic daily life of Meursault, a man from Algiers. In the story, Meursault attends his mother’s funeral, then goes on a date with his ex-coworker Marie, and finally, is sentenced to death after murdering an Arab.  The pandemonium seen within the book brilliantly captures  Cambus’s idea of how unpredictable life can be.

After the funeral of his mother, Meursault spends a night with Marie and gets engaged after only a few days. This illustrates how indifferent Meursault is to both logic and emotion, which leads to him doing random things out of the blue. He accepts the engagement offer from Marie as well as two requests from Raymond, all without considering the consequences. After a fight against the Arab brothers, Meursault takes the gun from Raymond and kills one of the Arabs - an action that undoubtedly baffles the prosecuting court and readers.   

During the trial, Meursault cannot “rationally” come up with a reason or motive that defends his actions. Both the defendant and prosecutor’s lawyers try to give reason and logic to argue about Meursault’s actions. However, the court does not realize the irrational nature of the defendant and thus creates a false sense of order.

Albert Camus's "The Stranger" is a book telling the story of Meursault, a young man experiencing a chain of random and bizarre events that eventually led to him being sentenced to death. The story succeeds in its theme of the unpredictability of life through the chaotic events that led both the characters and readers themselves confused and bewildered. Not a single soul would imagine that Meursault’s simple trip to his mother’s funeral would lead to his death, and yet it happened, because of how random fate can be.

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