The Stranger Study Guide

The Stranger Study Guide

The legendary Albert Camus composed “The Stranger” in 1942. The book is also often referred to as “The Outsider” – in the light of the themes of the novel that are about absurd philosophy, consequences, death, conflict of the soul and human personalities. 

The protagonist of the book is named Meursault and he is the one that narrates the story. He is a Frenchman but lives far away from home in North Africa. Our first encounter with the character happens at the same time as he received notice of his mother’s death. 

He spends the night near his mother’s coffin, not a single tear shed, and then meets his mother’s boyfriend at the funeral. Most of the events leave the hero emotionless and cold. The next scene is happening on the beach where Meursault meets a girl and goes on a date with her. 

Returning home from work, he helps his neighbor lure his mistress back to him so that the neighbor can take revenge on her for cheating. Through a series of events, Meursault ends up being engaged with his neighbor’s mistress. Through a series of other convoluted events, he ends up shooting his fiancé’s brother. 

The book is unique in its style and themes. The events are mingled with descriptions and emotional tensions. It might seem boring at first, but it creates a certain impression in a reader that doesn’t let go for a while after finishing the text. Going to lunch, staying all day in bed, falling asleep in a middle of work – all this is usually skipped in the novels but in Camus text, it received special charm and occupied a dominant place in the book. 

The book is about life as it is, with its ordinary events, regular people and typical behavior. Yet we see how the main hero is sentenced to be condemned for his untypical life and actions. He plays the same game but by the other rules – find out what happens in this situation.

New Essays

Double Consciousness and the Stranger

Throughout history, Georg Simmel and W. E. B. Du Bois have had a significant influence on important theories and ideas developed in the Social Sciences. Perhaps two of the most relevant and well-known concepts developed by both of these theorists are the concepts of “double consciousness” and “the...

Existentialism in the Stranger and the Metamorphosis

existentialism “We are thrown into existence first without a predetermined nature and only later do we construct our nature or essence through our actions. ”(Existentialism)This quote is present through the main characters of The Stranger, Blade Runner, and The Metamorphosis in each of these works...

Themes of the Stranger

Themes of The Stranger Several themes in The Stranger serve as the foundation to the novel. Detachment, the first theme, is evident through Meursault’s overall attitude, Salamano’s situation, and Meursault’s desire to bury his mother without seeing her body. Meursault detached himself from the...

Comparison of "Ragtime", "The Stranger" and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"

COMPARISON OF "RAGTIME", "THE STRANGER" AND "ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD" Option One: Character Discussion Compared to Ragtime or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, I wasn’t really drawn into their world as much as I was with The Stranger. It’s not that Ragtime was more compelling than The...

See all essays