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Morality in 'The Stranger'

by dmborong, April 11, 2013

32 out of 39 people found this helpful

Albert Camus' idea of morality in 'The Stranger' is completely unconventional and this can be seen through the protagonist who is a total embarrassment to the society in which he finds himself. This disparity between what is expected of Meursault and what he displays forms the basis of Albert Camus' philosophy of morality. There is a big question mark on conventional morality which the author finds to be absurd. He seems to be questioning the fabric of societal morality on grounds of motivation; are some of those values upheld merely for convenience or really out of conviction? What is the place of the individual in the society? Which is more important - the individual or convention?

Therefore while maintaining a good knowledge of right and wrong, Camus takes a radical position against contemporary views on these concepts. Meursault can deter his friend from killing, he will not tell a lie even to free himself and he is moved to attend the burial of the mother; however in most of these instances, he does not cease to embarrass those around him who have been conditioned by society to respond to circumstances in a socially acceptable manner.

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