Premium Essay

The Stranger: Reflection

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bobbyd1111
Words 451
Pages 2
The Stranger Final Reflection

One of the main themes in Albert Camus’s The Stranger is that the universe is irrational and life has no meaning. Camus’s writing strongly supports the idea that a person’s life is meaningless and has no structure or real order. Over the course of the novel, the main character Meursault exhibits odd behavior in comparison to that of the other “normal” characters Camus introduces. The character that best relates to the idea of a rational universe is the Magistrate.
Meursault first encounter with the magistrate reveals how unemotional and distant from the general principles of society he is. At the beginning of the conversation the magistrate asks Meursault whether he had hired an attorney. His response to the question is, “I said I thought my case was pretty simple.”(pg 63) One would think a normal and rational member of society wouldn’t flat out admit to their guilt. A person who valued there life and freedom would try at any means necessary to avoid imprisonment.
In that same first interaction between the magistrate, Meursault displays another odd characteristic. As the meeting is adjourned he thinks of shaking the magistrates hand as if they had just had a formal meeting about something minute and unimportant. “On my way out I was even going to shake his hand, but just in time, I remembered that I had killed a man.”(pg 64) In reality Meursault was a criminal and had killed a man. Here, his thoughts clearly indicate his idea of life having no meaning or value. The final meeting between Meursault and the Magistrate inevitably seals his fate. The magistrate repeatedly offers Meursault help but says he has to turn to god first. The overwhelming question that comes up is if Meursault believes in god. “…asking me if I believed in god. I said no.”(pg 69) This response angers the Magistrate resulting in a discussion on Christianity...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Essay on Living with Strangers

...Essay “Living with Strangers” Minnesota and New York are two thoroughly diverse cities, but still there are exceptions of this belief - they both, like every other city in the world, have their own tacit norms and proprieties. Cultures and societies have through time build ethics, which people outside the given group or civilization won’t understand. It can be everything from simply greeting each other, from rural Minnesota where “hi” slip of people’s tongues like honey to New York where its normal to live side by side with strangers, and addressing others on the street will make you seem ridiculous. This huge culture gap is what inspired Siri Hustvedt to write her anecdote “Living with Strangers”. The text is an essay, which is characterized by several things. It’s a non-fictional text, which means its about something real, and relates to this in an unbiased way. It is a very subjective style, written from a personal point of view, where the writer used own experience and reflections: “When I moved to New York in 1978, I quickly discovered what it meant to live among hordes of strangers…”. You can tell the text is personal by the fact that “I” is used a lot. The way of writing will seem very convincing to the ready. Hustvedt uses the ethos argument and therefore seems truthful and upstanding as a writer about this particular topic. The title represents the main topic quite well, as it refers to a very common paradox in urban societies - we have been to the moon...

Words: 944 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Essay

...Living With Strangers Sometimes it can be a leap in the dark to move from a small city to a big city. You start somewhere new; an unknown place filled with new experiences, challenges and strangers. It can be overwhelming at first, and it might as well take some time to grow accustomed to the new culture and what the city has to offer. The situation can especially be difficult to someone who comes from a city, where one is used to live in closely encircling. As an example of this kind of situation is Siri Hustvedt’s essay ‘Living with Strangers’, which is written in 2002 Hustvedt describes in her essay her move from rural Minnesota to New York City in 1978 and how suddenly norms and rules change for her. In Minnesota it is the custom to greet everyone you meet on the road, even though you do not know the person. If you pass someone in silence, you will be considered as discourteous and it can lead to accusations of snobbery. This is the worst and rudest possible thing you can do and it gets compared as a sin in the egalitarian state. A good place to start is the title of the essay ‘Living With Strangers’, because it sums up the thesis in the text and Hustvedt’s point with the text. The title refers to a major problem in every city - whether it is a big or small one, and it is because the society that we live in now has changed and is still changing. The late modern society is characterized by the fact, that we no longer are bound by old traditions and habits. We are......

Words: 949 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Existentialism in the Stranger

...EXISTENTIALISM IN THE STRANGER Albert Camus born in Mondovi, Algeria, in 1913, spent his early years in Algiers. He completed a doctorate in philosophy, then worked at various jobs, establishing his own theatrical company in the 1930s. At the age of 24 Camus became severely ill, a victim of tuberculosis. During four years of recovery, he formulated his existential philosophies and began his writing career. Most of Camus’ works are representative of the philosophy of existentialism. His well-known fictional piece is “The Stranger”. Meursault, the narrator of The Stranger, is an existential anti-hero. Locked into the routine of daily existence, his life is a shapeless void without ideas, preferences, goals, or emotions. Like a robot, Meursault responds to everything automatically, neither feeling nor caring. When he is offered a job transfer to Paris, Meursault says he does not care where he works; yet he does not go because moving would be too much trouble. His mother’s death is met with similar lack of response: he feels no despair or grief. Occasionally, Meursault lacks motivation to do anything, so he spends the day sitting at his bedroom window, smoking cigarettes more out of habit than desire. Meursault utilizes all of the six existential themes: Freedom, Contingency, Individuality, Existence, Reflection, and Nihilism. The first existential theme is freedom. Freedom means that whatever happened prior to now does not influence what your next choice in life will be,...

Words: 1256 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

The Stranger

...Finding Joy in Albert Camus’ The Stranger: A Different Perspective Existentialism is often defined as a philosophical movement that emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice. Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes a few main points, such as the freedom to choose and how the choices you make should be made without the assistance of another person or standard. From the existentialist point of view, you must accept the risk and responsibility of your choices and follow the act and result to wherever it takes the individual. Someone that is put in a certain situation understands it far more than someone looking in on that same situation; one commonly used situation that appears often in existentialist works is that of death. The existentialist should learn to accept death when the time has to come and should know that the most important questions in life are simply inaccessible to reason or science. Acting on your own experiences is essential in arriving at the truth and "man is condemned to be free” (Sartre). As a result of the diversity associated with this term it is impossible to define precisely. As is evident through the root of the word, exist, there is an emphasis on fixed individual existence and freedom of choice. Certain aspects of existentialism are shown in Albert Camus’ The Stranger. Existentialists attempt to direct our attention to ourselves as individuals. They force us to think about our relation to such topics as the......

Words: 3110 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

4-Mat Review Nouwen

...4-MAT Book Review Esther Gooding Liberty University Table of Contents Summary of book ------------------------------------------------------------------------------2 Concrete Responses -----------------------------------------------------------------------------4 Reflection -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 Application ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6 Reference ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 Grading rubric ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 Summary Reaching Out was published by Doubleday Dell Publishing Group in 1986. It was written by Henri Nouwen and offers counsel in the three movements of the spiritual life. The book simplifies the relational of humanity with the living God. Nouwen (1986) explores these three movements as spiritual growth and development. This he indicated will bring people closer to God. The first movement is from loneliness to solitude. Loneliness is an inner struggle for all humans. It is a feeling that no matter how many people are around you, you still feel alone or lonely. Loneliness is to be embraced, to look at it as a phase on the journey of life. The lonely person must have the courage and the faith to follow the path from loneliness to solitude. The illustration about the New York subway was very......

Words: 1303 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Siri Hustvedt Living with Strangers

...With Strangers’ An enforced closeness that exclusively belongs to boyfriends and family is something you cannot run from when being on the sidewalk in New York City. So is this the definition of the so-called living with strangers? Siri Hustvedt is an American author who in 2002 wrote the personal essay ‘Living With Strangers’. She simply raises the pros and cons of living together in the big city of New York – in a very non-simplistic way. With personal experiences and thoughts throughout the whole essay, she holds on to the reader’s attention from the very first line. I will mainly focus on the choice of genre, together with the linguistic instruments that Siri Hustvedt uses in her essay. There are a lot of basics that feature the characteristics of a personal essay. The personal essay is often focused on a belief or an insight about life. It combines elements as the narrative’s former experiences or relationships and raises questions about open answers. Only this genre permits Siri to be subjective on a topic where the essay still has a professional level of seriousness, while the intimate connection between sender and receiver creates a certain sense of ethos that helps Siri convincing her audience. This genre also gives Hustvedt the space to express her experiences in a way to convince us of her impression of “Living With Strangers”. Although, there is not a precise view being shared as the personal essay’s main argument: Instead it is more a meticulous reflection of......

Words: 919 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Under

...a spy on what's going on above me I'd only be called upon for important things and when things get out of hand I have friends Just like me to help me I am so necessary but sometimes overused and rarely abused I never say much but I emphasize everything Underneath I am a tree I was born as a seed but stuck in the ground still waiting to be freed I may be a majestic scene but not all have this gene But underneath is the real me with a tangle of roots as large as could be Full of love Or full of danger? The real me is a stranger I am tall I have grown but the outside is all you can see Underneath is the real me Underneath I am a tree I was born as a seed but stuck in the ground still waiting to be freed I may be a majestic scene but not all have this gene But underneath is the real me with a tangle of roots as large as could be Full of love Or full of danger? The real me is a stranger I am tall I have grown but the outside is all you can see Underneath is the real me Underdog Have you ever seen the underdog He rises above adversity He has shown them all that he is worthy to be embraced in loving unity... Fail to complete his goal... Left to face all his peers and left to search his soul... One thing is evident In the Journey Their life consists of a goal and will never be forgotten in this world Underdog Have you ever seen the underdog He rises above...

Words: 639 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Bartleby

...Vanessa Chavez Humanities 10 20 March 2014 Reflection This course has been very interesting because the theme of the class is very different from what I have been used to. I enjoyed how this class focused on the “strangers” and “freaks” of the novels. Nabakov’s Invitation to a Beheading was my favorite novel from this course. Cincinnatus’ struggle and imprisonment before his execution was painful for him in the sense that no one understood what he was going through. He was a stranger to those around him because he knew too much and was a profound being. Characters like Cincinnatus and Margaret juxtapose those who are ignorant in society. In reality, without these “strangers” there would be no classification of normal humans because there would be nothing to compare them to. The roles the “freaks” and “weirdoes” play in the novels read in the class are very significant; they serve the purpose of conveying important messages to the reader. For example, Ivan from the The Death of Ivan Ilych has a life that has no true purpose, and he realizes this on his deathbed. His life proves that no amount of money, power, or success can equate to happiness and fulfillment. The characters in all of the novels we read in class have taught me something valuable about life. Melville’s Bartleby has taught me how important it is to embrace those who are different because they can offer a new perspective on life. There is more meaning to life than the mundane routines that people tend......

Words: 415 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

The Red Line

...has visited Berto in Italy where they have had an affair. To his disappointment he comes to find out that she is in a relationship. She leaves him in the Tube after an argument. He feels very self-conscious about speaking English. He has asked for directions and he hasn’t been able to make himself clear, so the man just laughed at him and it has been very humiliating. Another obstacle for him is his pride. He is on the platform and he is deciding whether he should ask anybody for directions and he keeps making excuses of why he shouldn’t. The old women are deaf, some of the men seem drunk and so on. Nobody is good enough. He is actually ashamed of asking for the cherub’s help. (“Why was he ashamed to ask a man for help? He was a stranger here”). He doesn’t want to appear helpless (“He felt very small and foolish”), and thus lose his masculinity. That is very characteristic for the Italian culture. Men are often afraid of showing their weaknesses because they think that they will become vulnerable if they do. What Berto doesn’t realize is how much he is losing by giving in to his pride. If...

Words: 1209 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Sophie Calle Essay

...What level of respect should a person place on sharing or protecting the private personal lives of themselves and others? Should telling stories and descriptions of your friends to strangers be acceptable? How does the presence of others affect your emotions and decisions? Through the works of Marina Abramović and The Address Book by Sophie Calle, we learn how people deal with attempts at making the private sphere public. The premise of The Address Book itself challenges the privacy of personal spheres. Instead of simply returning the address book to its owner without any other actions, Calle decides to learn about the owner by meeting the people listed in his address book. Through her conversations with them, she hopes to identify and discover...

Words: 687 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Flight from Conversation

...Neysa Harman C. Patch Response Essay Revision October 21, 2014 Response to “The Flight From Conversation” As I prepare to write an essay at around seven O’ clock in the evening that is due in two days, I receive an iMessage, then a Twitter notification, soon after I decide to check Instagram and Snapchat. Before I know it, the time is now past eleven thirty at night. Where did the time go to so quickly? We live in a technology based world, where communication and real relationships are diminishing almost entirely. People of all ages, especially the upcoming generations are completely relying on social media and handheld devices to basically communicate for them. Humans have become so reliant on technology that we have begun to socially isolate ourselves from face-to-face interactions. Communicating to one another in person is extremely important, users of technology know this yet continue to ignore that fact and decide to use technology as a quicker form of communication. In The New York Times op-ed by Sherry Turkle “The Flight From Conversation,” Turkle talks about how hand held devices are taking over face-to-face interactions and conversations. Turkle grabs the readers attention with her own narrative, then turns quickly to people she has studied and their personal experiences. Turkle believes that technology is completely taking over the way humans communicate entirely, I agree with this because looking around campus or on social media it is clear that this......

Words: 1433 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Angels from Hell

...Cuddling strengthens the frontal lobe of the human brain, the region of the brain responsible for how you react to emotional stress. The first person that you think of in the morning is either the cause of your happiness, or the cause of your pain.] Ironically, the people who ignore you now, will somehow need you later. That moment when you randomly feel depressed for no apparent reason may indicate that you're actually missing someone. Old text messages, songs and photos provide a psychological window into the past. Revealing what you miss, how things used to be. Dreams often reveal feelings that we've hidden or repressed, because dreams are a reflection of our unconscious mind, our emotional truth. Sometimes being strong is a woman's way of pretending that nothing is wrong. Pretending not to miss someone tricks your mind into missing them even more. Music is one of the best uses to escape from all the negative things in their life Smarter people tend to make sarcastic comments quicker than people who aren't as smart. When a person cries, and the first drop of tears comes from the right eye, it is happiness. If it's from the left, it is pain. An instant change in mood from happiness to sad, indicates that you're missing someone. A girl's favorite song will tell you more about her feelings than she ever will. Constantly dreaming about someone indicates that they're missing or thinking about you a lot. You can meet thousands of people,...

Words: 683 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Theology

...`#16 HABOC, Bea IC-PH Reflection in theology Devotion and Devotions Devotion and devotions: Pre-title Before, I begin to write my reflection, I would like to take this reflection as a journal. A journal of my journey today, Jan. 16, Thursday. Thursday is my most hate day. Know why? I’ve always been doomed by problems every Thursday. Whatever it may be, quarrel among friends, misunderstanding between me and my subjects or just plain not-myself day, Thursday will always come across to me as an evil witch, bewitching my supposedly happy-ending day. Well now, I’m sitting in one of wooden chairs in civil law section of library and I hear the ringing of my alarm to start reviewing and reading my lessons. I’ve decided to start with doing my reflection for devotion and devotions. Devotion and devotions: The Real Deal It begins with “In death, life is not ended, but changed” I like the word changed for the most part since I think it is the absolute, perfect word to describe the article in the essence that it sums up our faith and devotion to God. We want to change our ways, our evil ways, be change by God’s love or our boyfriend’s love, change for the future, change, change, change! It is absolutely nonsense to think that we would just wait for change to happen. Would it be today? Next Friday? I don’t think so. Change comes from us and change would not be possible without believing or putting one’s faith. And faith comes with understanding like actions should be......

Words: 753 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Chungking Express

...With its exemplary cinematography, distinctly bold colour palette and unique sound design, Wong Kar Wai’s ‘Chungking express’ (1994) possesses some of the most evocative and powerful imagery in modern cinema. One of the most dynamic shots, lasting just thirteen-seconds, 29 minutes into the story is of a mysterious woman in a blonde wig (Blondie), played by Brigitte Lin. The character is shown via a mirrors reflection as she looks up at the ceiling, speculating on human behaviour. It’s interesting to note that the subject has been shot from above. Not only does this reiterate her position of vulnerability, make us focus on the dialogue but also gives us the impression that in her state of depression she will be swallowed up by the frenetic pace and lifestyle of Hong Kong. While Blondie is narrating, the camera slowly eases into the subject, but comes to a halt before we get a clear close-up shot of her face. It’s almost as if the director has nearly allowed us to finally connect with this recluse but then terminates the intimacy. It reveals a lot about her character. She is cold, aloof and taciturn. This is the point where she exhibits some of her opinions and feelings which is why we get the zoom up. She is in her most vulnerable state of the film. The fact that she is so prominent within the frame demonstrates that this is the closest we have been to Blondie. However, the cameras movement ceases before a more detailed shot is included which is frustrating for the......

Words: 1501 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Little Red Riding Hood

...In the Woods with Red, the Wolf, and Perrault Over time, the story of Little Red Riding Hood has seen hundreds of different interpretations, versions, and changes. Charles Perrault, a 17th century author, wrote the first publication of this story to reflect that young children, particularly young girls, are wrong to listen to strangers, in this case wolves, and that in doing so, said strangers will undoubtedly get their delicious meal in the end. In Perrault’s version, the male and female are depicted in a very particular way, which is ultimately a reflection of the culture and society of the time. Given this society, and the status of women, it is clear that Perrault is criticizing the gender representation through. While Little Red Riding Hood is a classic tale, it holds a more valuable meaning than society realizes. The story of Little Red Riding Hood has a particular depiction of both men and women. In the story, men are depicted as a “metaphor, a stand-in for male seducers who lure young women into their beds.” (Tater 5). This depiction, while true, is not complete. The wolf is in fact luring Red into the bed with him, after she has taken her clothes off, and although it is not explicitly stated, the action of a girl removing her clothing and climbing into bed with a man implies a sense of sexuality. Additionally, though, the male is depicted as duplicitous and dominant. In several instances throughout the story, the wolf clearly tricks Red and her grandmother into......

Words: 1150 - Pages: 5