The StrangerEQ: How do we give meaning to our lives?By Albert Camus
Some info from http://moodle.parkrose.k12.or.us/course/view.php?id=10
Albert CamusBorn in Algeria in 1913, occupied by France Father French soldier who died during WWIMember of anti-Nazi group in Paris & editor of their newspaperMarried two timesPacifist
Did not believe in GodMost of his main characters either disbelieve or wrestle with the problems of beliefBelieves that man has no excuse for failure except himself
Historical BackgroundSetting of The Stranger - Takes place in Algiers (Algeria), North Africa - Land of blistering African sun - Located by the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert - Sea is visible at every corner - Considered the gateway to Africa
AlgeriaAlgeria is colonized by France, Algiers = capitalPeople live side-by-side (the conquerors and the conquered) The conquerors = the French who had all the privilegesThe conquered = Arab-Muslims who were discriminated againstAlgiers was a bi-racial city where racism existed
ExistentialismExistentialism = man succeeds because of his strength, or lack of it, in himselfExistentialists celebrate the human existence **Existence precedes essence--we first exist and then we must find our own unique vocation that will become our essence. We cannot be confined by other societal constructs of happiness, this would be our essence preceding our existence and limiting our own individual freedom to independently exist
Existentialism ContinuedEmphasis on presentIt is not a matter of being right in the eyes of a God, but of being right in [ones] own eyes. The understanding of a situation by someone involved in that situation is superior to that of a detached, objective observer.
AbsurdityAccording to Camus, existence is pointless, meaningless, and irrational because nobody knows when his or her life may be abruptly terminated Absurdity = mans futile search for meaning in an indifferent, meaningless universe.
Absurdity ContinuedBasically, we must, at some time, confront nothingness and realize the impossibility of finding ultimate justification for the choices that we must make. So we fret and fumble about the choices we make by our feelings of dread and anxiety, but in all reality our existence is so infinitely small in the scope of the whole universe that it really doesnt matter.
Disregarding Societys Accepted Behaviors
Society deems certain behaviors as normal/rationalWhen people dont follow these behaviors, others attempt to create rational reasons as to whyMeursault disregards normal behaviors
Importance of Physical WorldMersault is more interested in physical aspects and sensations than social or emotional aspectsPhysical descriptions in the novel are vivid and full of imagery
Sun and Heat ImagerySun imagery and heat play an important role in The StrangerFor Mersault, the sun makes him feel smothered and oppressed