Conforming to society norms doesn’t allow the individual to reach his own decisions; however, it was impossible to restrict oneself from all. The character expresses no feeling about anything. Once in a while he shows a bit of heart, but for the most part, he gives a robotic appearance. Camus conveys his existentialistic philosophy with the death of Mersault’s’ mother. He is more concerned about the time of death, and not the fact that he just lost a loved one. The lack of compassion at his mother’s funeral is not what society expects of him. This labels him as insensitive, or that he did not love his mother. As an existentialist, he accepts life as it is. An example of existentialism is the murder of the Arab. The absurdity of the murder is what makes it a good portrayal of the concept of existentialism. This shows how Mersault is not only a stranger to his experiences in life, but also to nature. The sun and his sensual pleasures act against him, which cause him to lose control. Mersault’s actions lack true conscious motives. He consciously makes the decision to take a life due to the physical discomfort of his surroundings. To him, it’s simple: he committed murder, time to face the consequences.
There are numerous meanings to the title, The Stranger, one is that if you live a life different than what society accepts, then you are a stranger; an outcast, and will be punished by the rest of society. His trial proved this to be true. It was all about the way he acted and how different he was. This was used to prove that people who are different are judged by their character over their actions. Society refuses to understand him and to know him, therefore he is a stranger. Being a stranger to himself makes him a stranger to life. In the end he is able to understand the meaning of life. He was able to do so because he was approaching death, which is an existentialist principle; death is the only certainty of life. We are responsible for the choices we make; there is no predetermination or higher power which decides morality. After reading “The Stranger” made me look at my life. Some of Meursault’s behavior I didn’t agree with, but the further I read I understand the reasons for his actions. When I started reading the book for the first time I was quite confused and bored, I had to re-read it to understand it better which gave me a different message each time.