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The Outsider - Meursault makes us feel as if nothing seems to matter. Discuss.

Uploaded by 18743 on Feb 22, 2002

Meursault, the main character and narrator of The Outsider, is perceived to be a life-loving and self-centred man, who lives his existential life in Algiers. This novel, by Albert Camus, suggests that nothing seems to matter to Meursault. His nothing-seems-to-matter attitude is manifested through his indifference nature, which can constantly be observed in the novel. Meursault’s attitude towards death supports the fact that he is relatively indifferent. Meursault’s refusal to think of the future also adds credibility to the manifestation that nothing seems to matter to him. Both his passive nature and his desire for physical comfort also prove that nothing deserves his concern.

Meursault’s attitude towards death reveals his indifferent nature. Meursault lives existentially and knows that his life will terminate one day. Life is all a person possesses, and there is no intrinsic meaning in life. He also believes that death is a normal event that marks the conclusion of a person. After learning about his mother’s death, Meursault experiences no grief. He does not believe in the rituals performed for his mother. He only attends the funeral of his mother because he needs to satisfy the social expectations of a son. It can be seen here that Meursault has no worries about death at all. The killing of the Arab certainly triggered the commencement of a dark period in Meursault’s life. However, after he has ended the life of the Arab, he does not reveal that he is concerned about the Arab’s death at all. He does not feel outraged about the death of the Arab simply because he believes that death is just a natural event of life. No matter how a man dies, his death is inevitable. Meursault does not want to die. When in custody, and at the corner of his death, Meursault does not seem to be worried about his death at all. Rather, he attempts to make meaning out of his short-lived life. Normally, a person would be afraid of death. People would normally be worried about death. When a loved one has died, people would normally grief over the loss. When a person has been killed, the killer would normally go through a period of anxiety. When facing their own deaths, people would usually think of ways to avoid death. However, in each of these examples, Meursault’s attitude is different. He believes that death is natural and unavoidable. Therefore, he would definitely...

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Uploaded by:   18743

Date:   02/22/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (1,010 words)

Views:   1179

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