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Existentialism in the Outsider Essay

The Outsider, written by Albert Camus, is often denoted as an existentialist novel, first published in 1942. It is an illustration into various elements of thought and these theories’ view on the world. Camus depicts the life of Meursault, an emotionally inept man who with no beliefs or faith in god, is able to kill a man he had never met without any recognizable motive.

For this crime, the French born man is deemed a threat to society and is sentenced to death; the absurdism of this event is that he only evokes emotion and peace with himself and with the society that oppressed him before he is condemned to death.

Existentialism is a philosophy that concerns an exploration into the meaning of life through free will and selection. The people believe that the only mean of discovering who you really are is though the choices you make, your ethical views and your personal responsibility. In summary, life has the meaning you give to it, whether that meaning be substantial or minimal.

The term ‘existentialism’ itself is ambiguous in that to different people it can mean various things. Albert Camus successfully conveys existentialism throughout his book by the aid of his protagonist, Meursault. His evident follow of this theory prevents him from realizing his mistakes until his actual execution day. Until the end he did not accepted any consequences for his actions due to the fact that in his perspective, they did not matter.


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