World Literature

How Meursault is a stranger to society

Throughout the article, Meursault is depicted as a “stranger” in society. He has gained notoriety as a murderer, and in this case, he did kill an Arab. However, what the general public doesn’t comprehend about him is his lack of feelings about killing a guy and, even though it shouldn’t be relevant to the case, Meursault’s lack of expression of grief over the coffin of his dead mother.

His existentialist beliefs are not comprehended by society. He holds existentialist views that make him feel that life has no purpose. Everyone finally passes away, hence their lives are meaningless in the end, according to Meursault’s common sense. Due to his lack of emotion, Meursault is a “outsider” and an absurdity in society.

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Isolated from Society mentally and emotionally

Society does not even recognize Meursault as a living human because of the ways he expresses his emotionless traits because he is mentally and emotionally different from it. Meursault refused to see his mother’s body in the casket and never wept for her during her funeral. Meursault is considered as a monster by his society and he hanged because he is firm in his conviction. The inability of society to understand how he feels is shown by this, because he has no purpose in life, Meursault does not display any emotions. Meursault is more irritated by the fact that he killed a man and it is being made such a huge deal than he is sorry for killing Arab.

He was annoyed and frightened by the court’s decision to call witnesses against him, the process of being found guilty, and the fact that the judges did not perceive him as a straightforward individual with few demands. It is unfortunate that the entire case process was created to be such a huge issue, but the truth is that it was and still is a major thing to be like everyone else.

 They stated,

They had before them the basest of crimes, a crime made even more disgusting by the fact that they were dealing with a monster, a man without morals,”


once the jury and judge are informed about his mother’s recent passing and that he did not express “natural” grief for her.

“The fact that the court and jury saw Meursault as a “monster” and “a man without moral” (Camus)

Lack of feelings and emotions

Considering that Meursault ascribes to absurdist, he has less morals than the “average” person due to his lack of a sense of meaning in life. As a “stranger” in society, Meursault is misinterpreted since he is not a monster but rather a simple man with few needs and morals distinct from those of those who do not understand him. Meursault is a man who believes that one person’s existence cannot alter the course of the cosmos or have an impact on every living thing. Meursault is, in general, different from society due to his lack of feeling and his morals. Meursault makes his convictions and the fact that life ultimately has no purpose clear-cut.

When his girlfriend Marie offered that they be married, he responded,

“I said it didn’t make any dierence to me and that we could if she wanted to.”


This demonstrates that he doesn’t seem to care about these things. It is astounding how unmotivated Meursault is to improve himself and his life. There is no use in chasing such impossibilities because there is no truth, certainty, or unchanging, non-relative laws in life.

 It is quite difficult to comprehend how someone could have such a disregard for both themselves and other people, yet that is how an absurdist lives: without a care in the world and without any drive to strive or improve their lot in life. Meursault denies the existence of God and declares that life has no purpose, even after being given the death penalty. According to Meursault’s reasoning, there is no God, and if there were, He would have already helped him comprehend life and his place in society.

      “I had only a little time le and I didn’t want to waste it on God.”


According to Meursault’s reasoning, there is no God, and if there were, He would have already helped him comprehend life and his place in society. But Meursault is left with his thoughts and the hope of surviving another day until his unavoidable death because he has not discovered any religion to comfort him before death. Because he believes that he would be remembered after his execution as a cold-blooded killer who has no emotions or sensations, Meursault believes that his life and everyone else’s lives are pointless. Meursault lacks a sense of purpose in life and is unable to discern the significance of the lives of those around him.


In his own perspective, Meursault is an absurdist and an outsider to society. He is not only unfamiliar with society, but also with himself in such a way that he is unable to comprehend his own feelings or the reasons behind his decisions. But this is what distinguishes him as an absurdist. In his own eyes, Meursault is a simple guy with few demands, but society perceives him as a monster who has learned to love his one certainty—death. It appeared to me as a reader that Camus was manipulating the audience’s feelings. The lack of emotion in the novel encourages the audience to express emotion instead.

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