Camus Stranger Intro Notes


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Teks penuh









Albert Camus (1913 -


a French philosopher of the absurd,


Albert Camus

Born in Algeria in 1913

Settled in Paris and studied philosophy and


One of the key figures of the existentialist

movement of the 1950s

 Controversial writer

Writings affected by the time period: the horrors


The Stranger

The Stranger (1942) Setting: Algiers,

Algeria (Northwest coast of Africa)

 Is characterized by its simple plot,



A body of philosophical thought focusing on

the uniqueness and isolation of individual

experience in a universe indifferent or hostile

to humans, regarding human existence as

unexplainable, and emphasizing man’s

freedom of choice and responsibility for the

consequences of his acts.


What is

What is



The word first appeared in 1941

Branch of philosophy based on the situation of the individual in an absurd or meaningless universe

where humans have free will

Existentialists argue that people are responsible for and the sole judge of their actions as they affect others.

Individuals must not allow their choices to be constrained by ANYTHING -- not even reason or morality. One has the ultimate freedom to choose,



Sartre, in his lecture “Existentialism and Human

Emotions,” formed the slogan “Existence precedes Essence.” He illustrated this slogan with four


1. We have no predetermined nature or essence that controls what we are, what we do, or what is

valuable for us.

2. We are radically free to act independently of determination by outside influences.

3. We create our own human nature through these free choices.


The Basic Existentialist


 Existence precedes essence.

Essence: the basic, real, and invariable nature of a

thing or its significant individual feature or features

Man exists without a predetermined purpose

 Man is a conscious subject rather than a

thing to be predicted or manipulated.

 Man exists as a conscious being, and not in


More Existentialist Themes/Ideas

 Identities are constructed by the individual

consciousness only.

 Values are subjective- no preset right or


 We are all condemned to be free.

 Bad faith: when individuals under pressure

from societal forces adopt false values and disown their innate freedom to act



Antihero & The Psychological


 Antihero: A nontraditional protagonist or

non hero who presents none of the skill,

intelligence or nobility of the standard hero. Is Meursault one?

 Psychological Novella: Study of a

character’s mind with emphasis on motivation, internal dialogue, and circumstance

 Readers observe his character, values,


Moral Individualism

 There are no universal, objective standards

for right and wrong.

 No objective, rational basis exists for moral


 The individual must decide which situations

are to count as moral situations.

 The individual is responsible for all of the


A Poem by Stephen Crane

A man said to the universe: “Sir I exist!”

“However,” replied the universe,


Choice and Commitment

 Humanity’s primary distinction is the freedom

to choose; the choices an individual makes create his or her nature.

 Choice is inescapable; even the refusal to

choose is a choice.

 Freedom of choice involves commitment; one

must accept the risk and responsibility of following that commitment.

 Anxiety stems from our understanding and

recognition of the total freedom of choice that confronts us every moment, and the



The doctrine that human beings live in

essential isolation in a meaningless and

irrational world.

Absurdists do not believe suicide is the

answer. You should choose to make the

most of what you have while you’re living.

I am my own existence, but…this existence

is absurd.

The human situation is ambiguous, rather