be seen as the symbol of an individual caught in the hostile universe. This imprisonment strips off his confidence and makes him stranger to himself. Throughout the novel, The Stranger, there are immense instances of ironical situations and phrases, which convey the Absurd behaviour and ideas. The most evident ironical situation is the trial of Meursault, where Camus also tries to project the parody of society and a satire on the society. However, in The Fall, the notion of protest and guilt is satirised as being used as a weapon to enslave people. During Meursault’s trial, he was never accused for his crime of murdering the Arab. The magistrate, prosecutor, society and jury were more concerned about his indifferent emotional approach and lack of sentiments over his mother’s death and her funeral. During the trial, the Magistrate explains that, “he was there to supervise the proceedings, as a sort of umpire, and he would take a scrupulously impartial view of the case” (Camus, 1989: 108).
Though the trial was neither impartial nor was in the interest of justice. During the trial even the attorney of Meursault realised the absurd nature in the courtroom, which made him ask the question, “is my client on trial for having buried his mother, or for killing a man?” (Camus, 1989: 120). The major reason of Camus behind satirising the society is that the society kills the creative power of an individual for self-transcendence. The most important part of the novel The Stranger would perhaps be the point, where the protagonist Meursault faces death. It is the time when he also realises, what his mother would have felt, when she was near death because he faces the same situation as that of his mother.
He states, “So close to death, Maman must have felt free then ready to live it all again” (Camus, 1989: 122). He accepts his death and he felt as if there was no major difference between life and death, “I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again.” (Camus, 1989: 123). Throughout the novel, the death of his mother had no meaning at all in his life but only at the end of the novel, he realises and understands what it would have been for her at the end of her life. “I felt as I understood why at the end of her life she had taken a ‘fiancé.’ ” (Camus, 1989: 122) Sartre states in context of Camus’ work, The Stranger, that the adventures of Meursault are chiefly intended to emphasise on the absurd nature of the universe, world and existence.
Camus’ writing techniques like, use of irony, symbolism and foreshadowing is a way to enhance the absurdity of life and existence, absurd nature of world and universe and absurd situations, behaviours and ideas, to help an individual to have an image of absurd, to establish the link between an individual’s struggle to search for meaning and purpose in life and also to reveal an individuals motivation to live his life in the face of the absurd. Meursault, the protagonist also realises during the course of events that, “anyhow, one life was as good as another and my present one suited my quite well” (Camus, 1989: 47). He affirms that he was happy with what he have in his life by stating that, “I’d been happy and that I was still happy” (Camus, 1989: 154) The Stranger demonstrates the theme of existentialism, but as Albert Camus is an absurdist writer, the intended theme of the novel is the philosophy of absurd.
Camus also reach to the theme of absurdity at the end of the novel where, Meursault realises and accepts his death, considering death is inevitable and is the eternal truth of any individual, if not today, tomorrow the individual has to face it. Absurd is referred to the conflict between human seeking meaning and purpose in life and the inability of him to find any, but as Kierkegaard states, it does not mean “logically impossible,” rather “humanly impossible.” (Kierkegaard, 19). The theme of absurd comes at the end of the novel, where Meursault is in the prison, waiting for his execution for the crime he has committed and gets into a heated argument with the chaplain, who tries to make him believe in God and also tries to convert him to Christianity, where Meursault explains, I explained to him that I wasn’t desperate. I was just afraid, which was only natural.” (Camus, 1989: 116). He rejects his offer saying, that he has accepted the certainties and uncertainties of life and has accepted the eternal truth of life, i.e.
, death. He explains that, “if I don’t die today, you’ll die tomorrow, or the next day.” (Camus, 1989: 117). He by this time understood that an individual has to die if took birth in this world, if not today then tomorrow, but death will come is very certain. The protagonist of Albert Camus’ novel The Stranger, at many occasions show his existential beliefs and ideas which were seen strongly as the sharp contrast to his otherwise submissive nature and laid back attitude. Meursault’s absurd worldview is expressed in his argument with the prison chaplain when he offers to convert him to Christianity. Meursault demonstrates that nothing really matters, as we all live a life, we all will die one day and what all one does in between the span of life and death is not important.
After his discussion with chaplain, Meursault uncovers about himself and also a moment of realisation comes to him, “And I felt ready to live it all again too. As if that blind rage had washed me clean…really-I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again.” (Camus, 1989: 122-123). He didn’t care much that he was going to be killed and chaplain will live another day, because he realised his awakening to life and recovered from the absurdity of his life and understood the fate of every human being, be it today or tomorrow the end result remains the same, as it is inevitable. However, the chaplain will remain there with his empty prayers, the