Sunday, January 31, 2010
The Stranger Post
When I first began reading The Stranger, I was incredibly upset at the book as a whole. Mersault's apathetic attitude to EVERYTHING drove me up the wall. It wasn't until we got into our small groups for concept mapping and we learned a little about Camus's past that I began to actually understand his character. He is merely a product of the society in which we live, and he feeds on the opinions of other people. He is only apathetic because he feels like no matter what, our lives will be meaningless. However, I think that when he is in the prison is when he discovers his mode of happiness. Very seldom does he actually use the word "happy" throughout the novel, but when he does, he is talking about memories of certain places or about Marie. When he is in the prison and he actually has time to think to himself about his life and what he did, he doesn't really feel guilty for the murder that he committed, but he is very upset at the thougths that people have about him for committing it. He is so dependent on the opinions of other people that he prevents his own happiness. It's ironic really because he doesn't do anything to change the opinions that people have of him, but he wishes for better opinions. His character proves that each person determines his or her own happiness in the world and yet other people impact our happiness just as much, even though we shouldn't let them. This book was utterly brilliant in so many ways and uncovered so many truths about humanity that otherwise would have lain dormant in the minds of this AP Literature class.