Albert Camus' "The Stranger", how personality killed Mersault

Essay by !n[f]lu3nzaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2006

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"A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world."-Albert Camus. In Albert Camus's book "The Stranger", the existentialist Meursault is put on trial for the murder of an Arab. Meursault is ultimately sentenced to death, not for the murder of the Arab, but for his atheism, his social apathy and his aversion to the sun.

Meursault's appearance as an outcast in his community is what ultimately leads to his death. Meursault is the only atheist in a very strong catholic community. Meursault's choice to reject the belief of god is one of he major reasons why Meursault is put to death. Meursault's honesty prevents him from lying about his faith, which condemns him in the eyes of others. "What I can say for certain is that I would rather Maman hadn't died. But m lawyer didn't seem satisfied. He said, "That's not enough." He though for a minute.

He asked me if he could say that that day I had held back my natural feelings. I said, 'No, because it's not true.'" (65 Stranger). After Meursault is arrested, he meets with his lawyer in prison. While discussing the trial, the lawyer brings up the fact that the caretaker at the funeral home was going to testify and say that Meursault was not effected at all by his mother's death, therefore showing Meursault as an evil and vile man. The lawyer asks Meursault if he can lie and say that Meursault was in no condition to show his true feelings that day, but Meursault says no. If Meursault cannot lie about his feelings in order to preserve his life, he will certainly not be able to lie about his choice of rejecting faith. As it so happens, while in trial Meursault is challenged by the opposing lawyer about...