New Perspective on The Stranger

Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger, follows the timeline of the death of Meursault’s mother to his execution. The first part of the book was extremely difficult to read because of how boring I found him. He spoke in concise and simple sentences, yet his disregard for everyone and the events that surrounded him created a disconnect and frustration within me. Nabokov would argue that this is a good thing – as I wasn’t able to relate and was forced to look at the story objectively, however, I would disagree.

My attitude towards the book changed once we had a discussion in class and I was better able to understand Meursault’s outlook on life. I found that I agreed with some of his points to a certain extent. Social constructs are everywhere in our daily lives so when someone deviates from or challenges them they are deemed a stranger or an outsider. The Stranger illustrates a person who experiences similar events to others but differs drastically in how he reacts.

3 thoughts on “New Perspective on The Stranger

  1. CADEN P

    I agree with you´re point of view because of the discussion we had in our class. When we talked about Meursault’s look on life it showed that he had achieved true happiness is what I took from it. He says he was happy right before he had died because of his outlook on his life.

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  2. Ben Ko.

    I totally agree with you here, I also found the story pretty boring at first. I think it’s interesting how Camus is able to translate Meuraults rather inexistent personality into the pace and writing of the novel itself rather than just being told. I especially appreciated your callback to Nabokov’s definition of a “perfect reader”, I think the best way to read this book is to let our social conditioning seep into our viewpoints a little. It definitely improved my reading experience whenever I recognized some of my own opinions about Meursault and the world in characters like the prosecutor and as a result, was able to come face-to-face with my own social conformity.

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  3. NOA ADAMS

    I agree with your experience of the novel here. I also began reading and found Meursault difficult and unlikeable. I also continued to feel this way but as we started discussing him in class I understood Camus’s writing style more and why Meursault was made to look and act this way.

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