The Stranger By Albert Camus Critical Essay

In any case, one life is as good as the other” (41) Perhaps it is why, when his girlfriend asks if she wants him to marry her, he said that “It didn’t make any difference and we could if she wanted to” (41) It is almost as though he has forced himself to close off his mind and heart, his soul even, from anything that might seek to touch it, warm it, or bring it to life.

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Yet again, one wonders if the character is only trying to convince himself of his unfeeling nature, but the story itself drags because there is no connection between the character and the heart of the reader.

indicates the importance of this connection: “Readers like to identify with the characters they are reading about.

“Remembering Marie meant nothing to me” (115), when he thought of her not long before his death.

“What he was talking about didn’t interest me” (116), when the chaplain spoke to him about God.

As the story progresses, the narrative character, Meursault, portrays no backbone, no sense of moral values, and no perspective on much of anything. Readers are not necessarily looking for Prince Charming or Superman, but simply someone relatable and likeable – someone with whom they can connect.

Author Nancy Lamb explains one reason that readers want to read about realistic characters when she states, “Almost nothing yanks readers out of a story faster than when they feel a character’s actions are inauthentic.As a result of that moment, perhaps he convinced himself nothing mattered.Perhaps that is why he puts forth the idea that, “People never change their lives.The unfeeling narration continues, like the metronomic drumming of a leaky tap.“My heart felt nothing” (105), when his eyes met Marie’s in the courtroom.If your reader can’t empathize with the character in some way, you risk losing your audience” (Lamb 140).The reader trundles toward the end of the book, looking for some insight, some hope that Meursault will develop as a character.Meursault conveys, “I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I been happy.And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness” (51). Is it to invoke imagination, or to experience life through another’s eyes?As members of humankind, we crave connection with others – and connection with a character – hoping to discover that we are not alone in the way we think or relate to others or see the world; believing that if a faulty character can develop and transform throughout the chapters, maybe we can too.


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