Albert Camus : The Stranger (Summary)

I just finished reading Albert Camus's "The Stranger". A short book, but no less depressing. The story is simple to read, but the narrative is not that forthcoming. The story starts with news that the mother of the protagonist has died and he would have to take some time off for the wake. There is no hint of grief or remorse in him, instead he seemed distant. It's not as if he is indifferent, he is very aware of the surrounding like the detail with which he describes the heat, the people at funeral. He is also not a recluse either as the very next day he is seen flirting with his on and off girlfriend and going to a movie together. Later in the story, he gets involved with some Arabs and end up killing one. He is arrested and the later half of the story revolves around his trial and his abject resignation. The focus of the trial is not the killing, but the emotional detachment the protagonist displays.(not that it would have mattered). He treats the killing of another person trivially. It's not that he is an outlaw (the killing just happened), it just that what has happened has happened and any amount of remorse is not going to make amends. The protagonist is not guided by morality, not by what people think or what social mores are. He instead is guided by his actions and decisions and he stands by it however wrong. He is not willing to look back and ponder for he believes in present. He does not let his fantasies roam with thoughts of religion or remorse. He sees things as they are. He believes in what he can see and feels. Anything that does not happen while he is on the face of earth does not matter him. He is not hopeless (for he does not believe in one), instead he believes that these hopes weigh a person down. He is aware of the absurdity of his meaningless life and does not try to reason or make amends. He exists as he IS, not trying anything more, nor trying anything less. At the very end he rejects God and reconciles to death not because of any guilt, but because everyone is going to get one sooner or later. He thinks when it is all over, he would be glad that it's over. He is the stranger, stranger to everything other than what his senses sense.

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