The Stranger

The Stranger by Albert Camus is a really difficult book to read. I can understand why people are hesitant to read this book because its subject matter is seriously heavy and it differs from the standards of society’s thinking. The novel is about the indifference of Meursault, whose mother died.

I think that the concept of “mother” in the novel represents life. I think Meursault’s indifference is not against the mother, but against life itself. In particular, our character’s refusal to enter society’s standards and his disbelief in God cause us to describe him as “alien”. It would be too simple for us to describe Meursault as a monster and those who think so, while reading the novel are also making a mistake. We can neither support, nor humiliate Meursault. If we look for the point we need to change in the main character, there will be no point in reading the novel. I think there is a problem in the society in the book. It is the society that decides, how we will experience our suffering and the idea that “you should act as the society expects you to do” has taken over the character. In the second part of the novel, it is told that Meursault killed an Arab man and they lived in court. We see that when Meursault is accused in the court, it is discussed that he did not shed tears over the death of his mother, rather than murder, that is, he acted “differently”. As you read through the trial, the prosecutor deals more with the brutality of Meursault’s behavior towards his mother than for his crime. The psychological reasons for this behavior stemming from his upbringing have never been explored. In my opinion, while the “mother” detail is given in the book, the magnitude of Meursault’s murder is a little behind.

This book is a novel about which the thought writings can be very harsh in terms of the subject it deals with. If I could change anything in this novel, I would like the enormity of the murder he committed to be at the forefront and discussed more, rather than his thoughts on his mother, in the sentencing of Meursault.

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