Camus begins the novel with tragedy. Or what one might assume is tragedy. When Meursault’s mother dies he attends her funeral but he does not grieve over her death the way one would expect him to. He simply goes through the motions that are expected of him. This is his attitude throughout the whole novel. He is a man that doesn’t spark an immediate attraction but throughout the novel you begin to understand his way of thinking, and living as he has a relationship with a young woman, kills a man and leads you through the trial.
Camus captures the subtle personality traits that most people in society today envy and admire. Meursault is an existential hero who does not live with regret but lives only thinking of the present and immediate future. He is a hero in the sense that he was found guilty of murder but throughout the trial never told a lie. Perhaps if he had lied, or stretched the truth, he could have been found innocent but he presented the jury with only the truth. Maybe you can compare this act to that of Jesus. Both figures did not stray from what they believed in even when it might have saved their lives.
The outsider was written in first person to give you an in-depth, detailed view into Meursault’s mind and thoughts. You get a thorough understanding of the way Meursault views the world. The writing focus’s a lot on nature and the environment and Camus does an excellent job of capturing the beauties of the physical world.
This is very different from most novels I have read. The story may not be the most exciting or action packed adventure, but the ideas in this novel are truly inspiring. By the end of the novel I was thinking about things I had never thought before, and viewing certain aspects of the world differently. Camus proposes many different thoughts that most people never considered before.
Book Reviewed by Emily Newman
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