Books and Movies Reviews

The Stranger: Existentialism

Throughout much of The Stranger, Camus uses Sartre's philosophy of existentialism to show how all choices in life will eventually end up with the same outcome, being death. Meursault could care less about his life as it was shown through the choices he made during the novel. Because of his lack of interest in his or another's life and his atheist beliefs, Camus's writing is strictly influenced by most of Sartre's philosophy of existentialism. Sartre explains that every man is what he wills and nothing else but what he makes of himself. He also says that man cannot be responsible for only himself, but that a man must be responsible for another man. But in the overall outcome of life, no matter what choices you make, your life turns out to be the same either way. Meursault realizes this from the beginning and it shows through him throughout the novel.
According to Sartre, life is all about choices. His philosophy, existentialism, confronts man with choice. Many times during the novel, Meursault is given a series of choices, whether they be good or bad. Depending on the choices that Meursault could have taken, his lifestyle may have easily changed. When Meursault's boss offers him the chance to transfer to Paris for his job, Meursault turns it down. Meursault is already aware of the fact that no matter what choices he makes, he is still going to end up with the same outcome. He probably could have learned to live a different life in Paris, but he saw no purpose.So why would he go to Paris when he could just stay where he is, considering he is already content with his current lifestyle?
Existentialism is also evident when Meursault murders'The Arab' on the beach during his stay with Masson. Life is full of choice, and he could have easily avoided this situation. But when existentialism is applied, choice no longer matters for the overall outcome. This becomes evident when he doesn't shoot …

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