Analysis of The Stranger by Albert Camus

Title:  The Stranger

Author: Albert Camus

Context: The Stranger (1942) is a post colonial enigmatic debut novel by Albert Camus. The novel explores issues related to social attribution of identity. The novel published when political autonomy was being demanded by the Algerians with intense forcefulness.

Synopsis: The story is about an ordinary man who unintentionally commits a senseless murder at an Algerian beach. In the novel the author explore the nakedness of man confronted with the ridiculous. It was published in 1942 as L’Étranger in French, later in England as ‘The Outsider’ and in the United States as ‘The Stranger’.

The Frenchman Meursault lives in Algiers. He vigilantly sits at the place where his mother died and does now display and signs of distress at her funeral. This nature of his is seen all through his romantic and platonic relationships. His unpleasant friend, Raymond assaults his own mistress and is arrested in due course. He asks Meursualt to affirm for him to the police, to which emotionlessly agrees. Soon, Raymond is confronted with the Arab brother of the mistress and some men. The Arab slashes Raymond with a knife after which Raymond shoots him dead stating that he did this because he was blinded by the annoying brightness of the sun and disorienting heat. The two parts of the novel are separated by this murder.

The second part of the novel starts with a pretrial interrogation of Meursault focusing mainly his cruel disregard towards the funeral of his mother and the Arab’s murder. The examining magistrate labels him as ‘Monsieur Antichrist’ for his lack of sorrow and callousness at his mother’s funeral which works against him. His disengagement and apathy is highlighted eventually by his witnesses and finally Meursault is found guilty and sentenced to death by guillotine. A chaplain too goes to meet Meursault against his wishes but the raging Meursault makes him cry. Finally Meursault accepts death with peace and with open arms.

Read realted notes  Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

Other works by the Author:


1971 – A Happy Death

1947 – The Plague

1956 – The Fall

1995 – The First Man

Short Stories

1957 – Exile and the Kingdom

Academic Theses

1935 – Christian Metaphysics and Neoplatonism

Nonfiction Books

1937 – Betwixt and Between

1938 – Nuptials

1942 – The Myth of Sisyphus

1951 – The Rebel

2013 – Algerian Chronicles

Notebooks 1935-1942

Notebooks 1942-1951

1978 – American Journals

Notebooks 1951-1959

Correspondance 1944-1959