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June 22, 2024
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The independence of life and the impermanence of fate

I must admit that Albert Camus’s The Outsider is a masterpiece, which not only captures the essence of existentialism philosophy, but also raises interesting questions about social, moral and individual freedom. This novel depicts the life of Meursault, who shows the struggle between individual and society in existential philosophy.

The first theme of outsiders is that a person has his own values and should not be judged by the public. The hero Merso is a typical example. He is driven by his own subjective values, which are often inconsistent with social norms and expectations.

For example, Merso did not cry at his mother’s funeral, which other people in the novel thought was inexcusable and abnormal. Although he loved, respected and took care of his mother before she died, he would soon seek and find the comfort of her death and would never feel the pain of life, but his behavior and feelings did not fall into the social custom of insisting on public expression of sadness and emotion. This difference between the individual and the society led Meursault’s lawyer to imply that he had no place in the society because he did not comply with the standards and expectations of the society.

In this way, the novel essentially shows that people live in their own personal world, and their subjective values and experience guide them how to deal with the world. Therefore, Merso should not be judged for his behavior and lack of emotion at the funeral. This is a reflection of his personality.

Another central theme of outsiders is that randomness prevails in history, and we can’t draw causality on everything. The novel presents a moral vacuum. All moral principles become subjective and arbitrary, leaving no clear meaning or purpose for life. In the novel, Melso’s fate seems to be completely determined by accidental events. It happens by accident, is not controlled by him, and seems not to be guided by any specific cause and effect mode – his crime is random, his arrest is random, and even his final death penalty is random.

For example, the shooting of Arabs, which was the main reason for Merso’s arrest, was not premeditated, but the result of accidental events, which eventually led to Merso pulling a revolver from his pocket and firing. Ironically, Meursault’s charge is as random as death execution, and his life is judged and slaughtered under an inherent legal system.

In short, Albert Camus’s “The Outsider” is a challenging and thought-provoking novel that explores complex issues such as personality, randomness and morality. Camus uses the character of Merso to describe a social picture. The society tries to impose its values on individuals and often conflicts with outsiders – such as Merso.

This novel emphasizes the importance of recognizing the freedom and right of individuals to live in their own way, and the futility of trying to impose morality and meaning on a fundamentally random and absurd world. Finally, the novel warns people not to fantasize about causality, and encourages readers to embrace all the complexity and randomness of life.



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