Losing Hope

In The Stranger by Albert Camus, the reader follows Meursault on his journey through a multitude of different situations and relationships. But, what I find the most interesting about this story is how Meursault responds to these situations. He is very analytical in nature, and seems almost emotionless. This ultimately results in Meursault getting himself into a lot of trouble and even leads to him being sentenced to execution. Throughout the story he tries to make some sense out of his odd behavioral habits and by the end, is able to connect his own personality to the meaning of life.

For me, the most striking line that embodies this realization is on page 122 when Meursualt is waiting to be executed. Meursault states, “As if a blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself–so like a brother, really–I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again”(122,123). I believe that this is one of the most important quotations in The Stranger and that it provides a realization that does a very good job of bringing the story to a close. Prior to this, but after his sentence, Meursault was contemplating ways to evade his execution. He quickly became consumed and very stressed. But, he eventually loses all hope and it is only then that he is able to be happy and at peace. He realizes that the indifference he shows to the world is mutual and reflects right back at him. With this, he no longer felt “alone” and no longer feared his certain death. Death comes eventually anyway, why stress about when it will come.

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