In Albert Camus’ novel “The Stranger”, The main story we follow is of Meursault’s life. A man who sees the world differently through a perspective that is tragic yet enlightening. Through this enlightenment however, comes dreadful existence. Is life truly meaningless if you find happiness? I believe life is what you make it.
Someone with disdain for existence is going to have a hard time facing the reality of their own philosophy. In the case of Meursault, he is never truly fulfilled in his life and has no problem with throwing it away for the expense of his sanity. Would you rather know so much that it is unbearable to your mind or live a life of blissful ignorance making you at peace with the world. The universe that we live in is shown to give only partial answers.
Meursault may find pleasure to be the end all be all but life is more than that. That doesn’t have to mean the infinite pursuit of knowledge, but some things are worth studying and practicing because as far as we know we don’t know what happens beyond the grave. I may not be religious but I understand the use of religion, the existence of faith has created order in the human population. That order may be good or bad but if society was told all the answers, and we never could theorize, the walls of civilization would come tumbling down depending on what we hear.
2 thoughts on “Existentialism is Scary”
Phew! Yeah, I think “normal” (non-existentialist) ideas like happiness, love, and sadness are not just acceptable but almost crucial parts of life. I think you’re right, ignorance is bliss, but at the same time…to each their own! We may find Meursault’s life depressing but if it is the only lifestyle in which he can be content then I guess good for him, you know? I do although maintain that he is a murder, killing is wrong, and he took it too way far.
There is a film adaption of this. I just saw it, been a fan of the book forever, check this out.