The Stranger Essay

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In the following excerpt, Feuerlicht analyzes the transformation of the protagonist's psyche— from indifference to an understanding of the world. He concludes that Camus's novel conceals a variety of possible interpretations.

The ambiguity of the novel starts with the title. With regard to whom or to what is Meursault a stranger or an alien? The word étranger is only used twice in the récit, but not for Meursault. Alienation or estrangement is said to be the mood of Camus's L'Etranger, and this short novel allegedly demonstrates a person's complete lack of relatedness to other human beings. Meursault, however, is not like Baudelaire's "Etranger," who has no friends, like the "stranger" in Schnitzler's short story "Die Fremde," or like the outsiders in Thomas Mann's early writings, who create an atmosphere of cold estrangement whenever they meet other people. Meursault is not odd, certainly not odder...

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This section contains 3,634 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Stranger Study Guide
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