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Theoretis Versus Atheistic Existentialism

  • Date Submitted: 04/11/2011 07:59 PM
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Atheistic Existentialism
Existentialism in The Stranger

Heather Pechnyo

Heather Pechnyo
Mr. Moga
AP Literature and Composition
Exploring the Use of Existentialist View Points within The Stranger.
29 March 2011
Exploring the Use of Existentialist View Points within The Stranger.
Many out there in this world believe in a high being, God, which controls every aspect or their life on this planet. There are however people in this world that believe otherwise. These people would be known as existentialism. Existentialism is a philosophical movement that argues, "Existence precedes essence." The individual must exercise his freewill to decide his or her own "essential" nature. The concept of existence preceding essence is very important to the philosophy of Existentialism because it describes the only possible reality as the judge of good or evil. There are different tenets to the existentialist philosophy, some of the tenets that are portrayed in Jean-Paul’s “Existentialism is a Humanism”: Existence precedes essence, No appeal to a transcendental realm of values can sanction or justify our choices, and “Man is anguish”, Existential humanism. In The Stranger, Albert Camus uses Meursault and his experiences to convey the philosophy that man is full of anxiety and despair with no meaning in his life except for simple existence. The concept of existentialism is reflected through Meursault’s experiences with his mother’s death, his relationship with Marie, his murder of the Arab, and his own trial and execution. Albert Camus wrote The Stranger during the Existentialist movement, which explains why the main character in the novel, Meursault, is characterized as detached and emotionless, two of the aspects of existentialism. In Meursault, Camus creates a character he intends his readers to relate to, because he creates characters placed in realistic situations. He wants the reader to form a changing, ambiguous opinion of Meursault. From what Meursault...


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