The Outsider by Albert Camus

 the outsider

One of the most important works of literature in the twentieth-century, or just some guy not doing much and then getting done for it? Camus was trying to deal with a central philosophical problem: what if there’s no God or any other external means of justifying or validating your actions? If you can’t do right or wrong, how must one live? Camus’ protagonist, Meursault, tries to navigate his way through such a meaningless world, trying to live as best he can or as fully as it is possible to live. He enjoys his life. He enjoys just sitting on his balcony, being with his girlfriend, even working hard. But he pretty soon comes up against the hypocrisy of society. If you don’t at least pretend to ascribe to the morals and beliefs of those around you, then you will be, indeed you must be, punished. The second part of the novel is a critique of modern society. Meursault can strike a modern reader as a little bit weird, but there’s nothing wrong with him other than he fully takes on board the central assumption of existentialism: apart from our existence, we have nothing else: make of it what you will.

Mr A


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