Meursault lacks the ability to interpret the meaning of his own existence in this world. He is unable to put his life in sequential order and because of this he cannot identify the past, present, or future. He’s is finally being held accountable for his own existence. He can’t just float through this event in his life because he actually has to be conscious for it. Meursault was only truly made conscious though the inevitability of his death. He realizes that hope only delivers torture because it creates the false illusion that he can change the fact that he is going to die when he can’t. Meursault finally begins to accepts and even embrace that his views make him a threat and stranger to society. This is why he is being sentenced to death, not because of anything that went on in the trial. Meursault discovers that him and the world are alike because neither of them pass judgments. The world does not rationally order and control the events of human existence and this is somewhat comforting. When we die, the world doesn’t care that our bodies will leave themselves in it’s dirt, but it doesn’t matter because it happens anyways. “I open myself to the gentle indifference of the world” (Camus 122) Meursault finally finds peace in the end through his death because he finds freedom in his unimportance.
The short story, “The Lesson” written by Toni Cade Bambara, compares the mindset of the lucky and the not so fortunate lifestyles but doesn’t reach any sure conclusion. Throughout the story we witness much commotion and seemingly there is to be some cause and effect, but I beg to differ. There is no singular point between any two characters that we will notice to have an everlasting impact. Sylvia and Miss Moore both seem to bump heads through most of the passage. Sylvia constantly wants to be better than her so she won’t have to listen to what Miss Moore has to say. However, we don’t really note any relationships being made, or any ground being covered among the kids. They both try and get the better of each other over aggression and force, but none change. For instance, in the last line of the piece, “But ain’t nobody gonna beat me at nuthin.” This sentence can be interpreted in many ways, but I take it as something good used for nothing good. Sylvia never wants to be beat, she always wants to be the best, but what stands in her way is her perspective of what’s important in life. She has great ambition and wants to be at the top, but because of her background, she won’t ever use her motivation for the betterment of herself. Yet, she will use her drive to do things like fighting her friends or getting away with stealing and that’s what I think will keep her at the social level she resides in currently.
In the short story Escape from Spiderhead by George Saunders, the illusion of choice within the piece, is present in Jeff’s use of the word, “Acknowledge.” Jeff and the other test subjects are required to address the drugs to being administered to them before Abnesti and Verlaine are allowed to do so. However, it is not exactly as if they have any choice in the first place. We see the outcome of this when Jeff refuses to let Abnesti administer Darkenfloxx, the most pain inducing drug, into Rachel. Abnesti immediately wants to give Jeff adore of Docilryde, a drug to make him follow all his orders, to make him acknowledge the administering of Darkenfloxx into Rachel. When Verlaine states “‘There’s Docilryde in every MobiPack,”‘(75) It connotes that even though a waiver would need to be signed, Jeff can be very easily manipulated with that drug. Thus the illusion of decision is made present if the scientists went without signing a waiver. They would very easily have the ability to use the Docilryde to make him approve of its usage in the first place. That being said, with no cooperation from Jeff needed to, “Acknowledge,” then there is no choice to begin with. Both Abnesti, Verlaine, and the rest of those operating within Spiderhead, have total control over their subjects. Concluding that Jeff’s words and wishes are meaningless, and he is merely a puppet to their science.