Books and Movies Reviews

Conflict in the Outsider

Conflict in the Outsider – A Man in Revolt
The major source of conflict in the text, The Outsider written by Albert Camus, is ultimately Meursault's rebellion against the expectations of society. This conflict, caused be rebellion, controls the plot line of the text from the time of Meursault's mother's death and eventually leads him to his own death. Like Camus himself, Meursault was in love with the sun and the sea. His life was devoted to appreciating physical sensations. He is devoid of any emotion, so much so as to appear traumatised or child-like. Meursault can be portrayed as Camus' metaphysical rebel, a man who says by his actions, "I will go this far, but no further."
In order to understand Meursault's rebellion one mustfirst understand the nature of his personality as portrayed by Camus. The novel begins with the laconic assertion "Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can't be sure." Meursault's lack of emotion of his mother's death eventually leads to his own. The conflict here is Meursault's refusal to fake sentimentality since he does not feel anything. His mother's death briefly interrupts the pleasant flow of Meursault's life; a life devoted to appreciating sensation. He loves the feel of a crisp towel in the washroom. He enjoys eating, drinking and smoking cigarettes. He loves to watch the sea and the sky. Swimming and making love to beautiful women like Marie are his favourite pastimes, so much so that an offer of a job promotion in Paris does not in the least appeal to him. He loves the feel of a crisp towel in the washroom. He enjoys eating, drinking, and smoking cigarettes. When something bores him or distresses him he simply goes to sleep, as he does on the bus to his mother’s funeral and even in jail. He is a detached observer of life. Symbolic of this quality is the Sunday he spends watching the ebb and flow of life in hi…


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