Camus, Albert. The Stranger. S.l.: Vintage International, 1989. Print.
In The Stranger, Camus tells a narrative about Meursault, a young protagonist and detached human being. Meursault’s character is described as neither moral or amoral because his internal is completely neutral. The reader can sympathize with Meursault because he is honest about his emotions and feelings. Camus draws the readers attention to living in a state of being neutral and questions if that state is morally acceptable. The line between right and wrong is blurred and the protagonist’s internal journey and realities are foged. This novel is existential as it questions the purpose of mankind.
An anticipation guide would be helpful to students before and after reading this text. Students should answer true or false to the following statements.
1. It is impossible for man to find true meaning in life.
2. True meaning in life can only be accomplished after acknowledging a state of nothingness.
3. An individual is not defined by religion, society, politics, or culture.
A Question for an Essay or Discussion: The philosophy of existentialism means that nothing in life matters, including death. Give examples of Meursault’s experiences with death and describe his reactions. Do his reaction support or contradict him as an existential character?
Six Characters in Search of an Author, is a play within a play. The character’s are rehearsing a play in search of an author. As they search for an author to the play rehearsed, the characters question the meaning of their existence. In other words, the refuse to exist without an author. Sparknotes states, ” While the Character’s reality is real, the Actors’ is not; while the Character is somebody, man is nobody. Man is nobody because he is subject to time: his reality is fleeting, always ready to reveal itself as illusion, whereas the Character’s reality remains fixed for eternity.”
1. Compare and contrast the importance of the father’s existence as an actor and as a character in the play within the play.
2. Describe Pirandello’s existence in his own play and what is the significance of the author’s role?