The Stranger by Albert Camus

December 23, 2008
By Maddie Collet, Eugene, OR

The Stranger definitely does not fit under the catergory "young adult." It isn't that it is inappropriate in a sexual or verbal way, it's just that it is heavy. Extremely heavy. Albert Camus is known world wide for his exestential views, and in The Stranger, his views are not hidden.

It starts off in France around the 1940's, where we meet Mersault, a young man who is at his mothers funeral. From the very first sentence of the book, it is obvious that Mersault doesn't care even the slightest about his mom. "Maman died today, maybe it was yesterday, I don't know, I got a telegram this morning."
He shows no sorrow for her death and no sign of mourning- at all. He goes through the funeral griping about how hot it is and how much he want's to go smoke a cigarette.

My first thought was, wow this guy has no heart, but then you meet Marie, Mersault's lover, and you start to see his affectionate side. But then when Marie proposes to him and he says "I don't care. Whatever." my original conclusion was up in the air again- sociopath!

But then things get really obvious. Mersault murders a man when he is at the beach with Marie and his friends, and from there it goes into his short life in prison, which, again, he seems to have no emotion about.

So what happens to Mersault? Does he live in prison for the rest of his life? Is he freed? Does he die? I will not say because if this book isn't considered literature, than I don't know what is. Reading The Stranger, was a very emotional experience and I recommend it to anyone who likes slow books with very little build up, but changes the way you think.

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